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Full text of "Tiger slayer by order : (Digby Davies, late Bombay police)"

Press Opinions of the Authors Earlier Books 



LIFE IN THE INDIAN POLICE 

Daily Graphic— "The book is excellent value." 

The Timks. — •' Something to read at whatever page yon open at." 

The Globe. — " A really valuable contribution to the understanding of 
native life." 

T.P.'s Weekly. — "The author has written an attractive book." 

Daily Telegraph. — "One of the freshest and most delightful volumes of 
Indian reminiscence that we have read for some time." 

Manchester City News. — "Nor is there a dull page in the book. . . . 
Much of it will bear a second, and even a third, reading. ' 

Pall Mall Gazette. — " Altogether a book to be read and enjoyed." 

Irish Times.—" An eminently readable book." 

Dundee Advertiser. — " Does not contain a dull page." 

Illustrated Sporti.ng and Dramatic News. — "Told with a strength 
that holds the reader." 

Spectator. — "Was more worth writing and is more worth reading than 
inany expensive and more elaborate books written with effective simplicity. . . . 
.Simple unforced language and strangely effective. ... A really interesting 

l)Ook." 

United Empire. — " Few pages can be described as dull . . . majority are 
vastly interesting." 

Field. — " We can unhesitatingly recommend *Life io the Indian Police' as 
a book to read." 

Publishers' Circular.—" Has a teal literary value." 

PlONKRR (Allahabad).—" A talc of enthralling interest. One of the best 
Shikor yams we have ever read." 

Asian (Calcutta).—" A worthy addition to . . . libnry of works daOiiw 

with India and her people." 

Advocate or India.—" One of the freshest and moat delightful volumes of 
Indian icminisoeoccs that we have read for some time." 

iNTtRNATIONAL POUCS SUVICB MaOAZINS.— " . . . truly Uchghlfttl book." 

Morning Post.—" There U not a duU page in it." 

North American (Philadblphia).— " Many graphic watd-pietavn. No 
amateurish explanatioo." 

Herald (Boston, Mass.).—" Mc^mori** that are rcatarkably (>«>r«oiMU 
h«i>ee tntcroting," 



TIGERLAND 



ATHKNiEUM. — " In his former books . . . Mr. Gouldsbury acquired the 
reputation of telling his stories . . . vividly and well. In the present one . . . 
that level is well maintained." 

Westminster Gazette. — " Extraordinary and enthralling reading." 

Daily Express. — " Enough to put all the sex problem novels ... far in 
the background." 

The Times. — "The book appeals as strongly to those who have never seen a 
tiger at large, as to the initiated big-game hunter." 

Daily Chronicle. — " For the second or third time Mr. Gouldsbury has 
placed his readers under an obligation." 

Sunday Times. — " The book can be read from beginning to end . . . while 
as a narrative of pure adventure ... we know of no other book that can beat it." 

Dundee Advertiser. — "An admirable collection of adventure and hunting 
stories enlarges one's knowledge of a most interesting and mysterious country." 

The Globe. — "In a special editorial 'To-day's Book 'says in conclusion: 
' As a record of Indian sport we have rarely come across its equal and never, we 
think, its superior.' " 

The Academy. — "The book may be recommended to all who care for stories 
of big-game shooting told vividly by an expert." 

Saturday Review, in a full column review says in conclusion : " The result 
is altogether excellent, and the book is of great merit and interest." 

Country Gentleman. — " Full of sustained interest. ... An exciting book, 
well written and illustrated." 

Daily Telegraph. — " Full of good stories and the record of adventure. . . . 
It is a sportsman's book for sportsmen, and its public is secure." 

Irish Times. — " Its pages are full of interest from first to last. . . . The 
author makes us live with him in his travels and rejoice with him in his successes. 
. . . The jungle and its romance hold us in their spell. . . . The tiger and panther 
. . . are not mere representatives of their kind ; they are living individuals." 

The World. — "Better and more exciting than most novels is 'Tiger- 
land. ' It is well written, the tone is genial and buoyant, and the author has a 
rare gift of neat expression." 

The Bookman. — " One would say with apparent safety that it was well-nigh 
impossible to write another readable book on big-game shooting. Yet Mr. 
Gouldsbury has done so, and thoroughly confounded those who thought the 
subject exhausted." 

The Field. — " This is without doubt a first-rate book of shooting and other 
adventures, and deserves a place on the bookshelf for its human as well as 
sporting interest." 

Madras Mail. — " As entertaining a book of its kind as has come our way 
for a considerable time." 



TIGER SLAYER BY ORDER 



Br THE SJME AUTHOR 
DULALL, THE FOREST GUARD 

By C. E. GoULDSBURY 

LIFE IN THE INDIAN POLICE 

By C. E. GoULDSBURY 

TIGERLAND 

REMINISCENCES OF FORTY YEARS' SPORT 
AND ADVENTURE IN BENGAL 

By C. E. GoULDSBURY 




■•s. 



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TIGER SLAYER BY^ -^ 



•«• » > 



ORDER 



(DIGBT DytriES, LATE BOMBAT POLICE) 



, ' BY 

C. E. GOULDS ^PRY 

(late INDIAN PC 
AVTBOB or " OCLALL, TBI rORUT GUAar A 1AL« Of tro«T AND 

aotiktvru in bkngal ; " ll^* n tmt indian 
folick") "tioiii^And" 



WITH NUMEROUS ILLUSTRATIONS 



LONDON 

CHAPMAN & HALL, Ltd. 






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SK 



y 



DEDICATED 

BY SPECIAL REQUEST OF MR. DIGBY DAVIES TO 
AND WITH KIND PERMISSION OF 

The Rt. Hon. LORD HARRIS, G.C.S.I., G.C.I.E. 

LATE GOVERNOR OF BOMBAY, DURING WHOSE TENURE 
OF GOVERNORSHIP MR. DIGBY DAVIES ENJOYED HIS BEST 
YEARS OF SERVICE, AND THROUGH WHOSE KINO OFFICES 
HE WAS ENABLED TO CARRY OITT HIS SHOOTING 
EXPEDITION INTO SOMALILAND, N.-E. AFRICA 

THE AUTHOR 



AUTHOR'S NOTE 



This work, to which I have given the title of " Tiger Slayer 

^y Order," as being obviously the most suitable, has been 

ompiled entirely from notes and stories, furnished by Mr. 

' y Davies, late a Deputy-Inspect or-General of the 

ill Police, and contains his own experiences as a Police 

Othcer, and Bhil Agent — coupled with the unique oflBce of 

Tiger Slayer to the Government of Bombay. 

Mr. Digby Davies served for over thirty years in that 
Presidency, and during this long period had many and 
exceptional opportunities of indulging his great taste for 
sport, especially when carrying out his duties as " Tiger 
Slayer." I have, at his request, endeavoured, with the 
iid of his notes, to construct a tale — or rather, autobio- 
graphical narration of his adventures and experiences, 
and in order to do this have necessarily bo^n "'>lirred to 
make use of the first person throughout. 

To relate another's story is, naturally, more diflicult 
than to tell one's own ; but in this case Mr. Davies' accounts 
of his adventures are so full, and his descriptions of the 
appearance and habits of the various animals he 
encountered given in such detail, that my task has been 
comparatively easy, and a very pleasant one. 

In my last book — " Tigerland " — written also in these 
lines, I was, for reasons given, in the Preface to that work, 
unfortunately unable to divulge the name of the individual 
whose experiences I was narrating. Thus, in spite of my 
tion, I was undeservedly credited with having 
" . ! u-ed the adventures myself. 

In the present instance, however, being under no such 
restriction, I am glad to be in a position to acknowledge 

b vii 



AUTHOR'S NOTE 

my indebtedness to Mr. Digby Davies by name, for the 
excellent material which has enabled me to compile this 
work, as well as for the interesting photographs from which 
the illustrations have been taken. Mr. Davies' hunting 
experiences were not confined to India alone, for during 
one period of leave, he made an expedition to Somaliland 
where he was singularly fortunate in procuring several 
elephants and lions, besides specimens of nearly every 
other wild animal to be found in that country. An account 
of these adventures is given in this narrative and should 
make interesting reading from the sportsman's point of 
view. 

In conclusion, I take this opportunity of acknowledging 
the numerous and very favourable notices accorded by the 
Press to my last book — " Tigerland " — ^and venture to 
hope that the present volume may meet with a similar 
reception. 

AUTHOR. 

Malvern Wells, 
July, 1915. 



VUl 



CONTENTS 



rxau 
Actbok'b Noth vii 



CHAPTER I 

Decide on an Indian career — The lure of big-game banting— Consider- 
ing ways and means of adopting it professionally — Final reeohrtkm 
— Bail for India — En route for Bombay — The pains and pleeeoree 
of a voyage to tbe East — A game of qaoite interrupted — Man 
overboard — Attempts at rescue — The shark and its victim — Some 
remarks about sharks — Superstitions concerning them — The voyage 
at an end — Anxiety to land explained — " Privilege leave." Us 
object and odvantagee described — A description of Bombay — Fiat 
impressions of the East — ^The Elephanta caves, or temples, and 
their gods— The Towers of Silence cemeteries — Swarms of vultures 
— Gruesome reasons for their presence — Parsis, their origin, 
cu<:toms and religion: an enlightened and interesting race — 
I 1 for journey to Ouxerat — Bullock-carts described — 

.1 of sport — I^lrohaae a gun in the Basar — Discomfort 
aiiu luxury of railway travelling in India — Full length sleeping 
accommodation — Long journeys rendered comfortable ... 



CHAPTER II 

A joumoy by boUock-cart — Oome across antelope — A moosMfnl stalk — 
Skinning my first trophy — Exhibiting my prise— Join tbe 19th 
Native Infantry— A martinet G.O.— life at llalsgown— Hurdle 
raoes and a fall— A nov«l ramedy— The Statica Shikari and Us 
wiles — Paying for expertonoa Beating for a phantom panther — 
Counterfeited footprmts — ^Tbe fraud de t e ct ed — Flight ci the 
c\ilprit — Pursuit and ponishiiMnt— -A description of the oflmdar— 
EscgmimUia (ioos<— UnrsUaUUty of native tnJormattntt — Ljing 
to pIsa— Other rsaeons for false reports of pms Tact and 
tMBUMc naoessary to suujsss nswaifls foe tras hifafniatimi — 
Mmmj wsU laid out— How to Mmdn sn eri saoo A Mid Inddsnt 
In o«r station Ufa— SkrlaridiM ends In aTHsasts r Qotof to a caoa 
mssHnc ^7 '^^ — ^Walking aloag the footboard — ApycoaoUng a 
bridga— Warned too lata— Oanaoned of! into the rirsr— Body 
sohasqmntly reeoversd 9 

ix 



CONTENTS 



CHAPTER III 

PAQE 

Leave Malegown for Khandesh — Appointed Assistant Political Agent 
and Adjutant Bhil Police Corps — My chief — A fine old sportsman 
— Air-guns dangerous at times — A marvellous performance — Some 
reminiscences of my early youth — An accommodating tutor — 
Questionable justice — My headquarters in Khandesh — A palatial 
residence — Description of my duties — A banyan tree tribunal — 
Some accounts of the Bhils, their belief in witchcraft — Omens and 
superstitions, love of sport — Legend of their origin — Life in the 
station — Christmas camps — Running amok — A thrilling experience 
— Shooting a Havildar — My first tiger — A description of the beast 
— Rejoicings in camp — An unselfish sportsman — Efficiency of a 
•500 Rigby Express rifle — The best weapon in those days for tigers 
— Diversity of opinion as to rifles — Various weapons or projectiles 
used by well-known sportsmen — To be judged by results — Best 
rifles for soft-skinned and heavy game described in next chapter . . 16 



CHAPTER IV 

Some talk about rifles for big game — Efficiency of small bores doubtful 
— Selous on this subject — Knowledge of anatomy— An important 
factor — A quotation from Sanderson — An advocate for heavy 
weapons — Rifles recommended — Sir Samuel Baker's opinion — 
Experiments I have made — Various projectiles used with results — 
Some rifles I have used — Apology for digression — Narrative resmned 
— The district of Khandesh described — How the Bhils were civilized 
— The necessity for a local and special officer — His duties — Experi- 
ence, how gained — The origin of the office of Tiger Slayer — Cattle 
and human beings destroyed by tigers — Khandesh a stronghold of 
wild beasts — Special body of hunters from Bhil Corps — Government 
elephants — Useful to shoot off or as beaters 23 



CHAPTER V 

A description of my Shikaris — A reliable quartette — The mid man of 
the woods — A true Aborigine — My first introduction to him — The 
palaver — Brother Shikaris — Become the best of friends — His 
progress in life — The tiger, and how to get him — The best season 
for tiger shooting — Baiting the jungles — Looking up the baits — 
Tracking by footprints — Stops on trees — The drive — Monkeys and 
peacocks as guides — Random shooting to be avoided — Following up 
a wounded tiger — Dangerous but necessary — Precautions to be 
taken — The art of tracking — How to be acquired — Difficult at first 
— Hyena or panther — How a tiger can be distinguished from a 
tigress — An adventure on the Satpuda hills — A tigress and her cubs 
— Arranging the beat — The tigress viewed — A beater charged — 
Seeks refuge in a tree — Seized by the leg — I go to the rescue — The 
wounded man sent into camp — Tigress takes cover — Refuses to 
come out — We attack her in her stronghold — A furious charge and 
subsequent retreat — Darkness sets in — We leave her for the night . 80 



CONTENTS 



CHAPTER VI 

PAoa 
Besume the attack — A bait taken — The tigress charges — A difficult shot 
— Hit — Wounded mortally, yet attacks a beater — I go to tho rescue 
— A fortunate escape — Tigers not incapable of climbing trees — The 
wounded man recovers — Wounds from tiger's teeth and claws — The 
character of tigers described — Man-eaters — Causes that produce 
them — FalIcu:ios regarding man-eaters — News of another tiger — 
Posted on foot — Killed with a single bullet — Tenacity of life— 
Fortunately rare — A dangerous sport — A tigress with cubs — One 
bagged — An unexpected attack — Fire both barrels into hor face — 
The tigress gets home — I am knocked over — A period of un- 
consciousness — Badly clawed and bitten — Saved by Bapu's pluck 
— Bandaging the wound — Carried into camp — Treatment and 
eventual recovery — The dangers of a light rifle — Heavy casualty list 
in Khandeeh — Another instiuice of light rifle inefficiency — Monkeys 
give the alarm — Sudden appearance of the tiger — An unfortunate 
slip— Reserving my fire — A terrified dog-boy — Tiger sits up dog- 
fasnion — A perilous situation — The tiger fortunately retires— Send 
for heavy nfle — Tracking up the tiger — Success at last — A fine 
trophy 37 



CHAPTER VII 

A rare chance — A bull bison and a tiger — Hopes of a record — " Bight 
and left " — Beating on spec — The bull bison viewed — Changing my 
rifle^About to puU the trigger — The tiger appears on the scene— 
An unparalleled situation — A chance of making history — Another 
change of rifles — Fatal hesitation — The tiger alarmed — Making off 
at a gallop — A difficult shot — The record unachieved — The tt^esa 
shot — The light rifle scores for once — Another tiger killed — 
Evidence in favour of the heavier weapon — Experience gained as 
Tigor Slayer — Some remarks on tigers — Varieties of the species — 
Hot and cold weather ooAta — Colour a sign of ago — Moaoiilur 
development — " Lucky bones " — Cattle-killing and hill tigers — Dif- 
ference in weight and sise^Length of tigers — Methods of measur*- 
ment — Age difficult to determine — How a tiger kills its prey — 
Manner of eating — Not neoessarily nocturnal in its habiu— An 
example — The tiger's attack — Wounds generally fatal — Time of 
bresding — Number of oubs {nrodocad — Derooring their yoong-- 
Fssding the cube — Cube as pets — nger fak and rhernnatism — ^lOlk 
of tigress as medicine — Aaventnns of a sampla— Lagwids and 
superstitions — A curiosity in tigws — Deolarad a IMW spaoiss Ths 
mystery solved — Disillusion 44 



CHAPTER VIII 

Tigsr Slaysr and PoUoimaii— ▲ OMfol eomblnatioa — ^Traeking a daooik 
Isadsr — A trooUasoaM faag — ^Bhidfaig Ika poUca— In ponott — ^My 
early morning visitar — A noda, wild flgora— An nnczpaeiad asaatlng 
— A conditional somndar angMtsd — Offar of a drink — BampHng 
iba teandy— Amatad In kha aet— Camp Ufa in Indi>--l>M >k i 

xi 



CONTENTS 

PAGB 

Council round the camp fire — Useful information thus acquired — 
A day in camp described — Fascination of the life — Camping near 
jungles — Noises in the night — As music to the sportsman — 
Possibilities of adventure, an example — A dinner interrupted — 
Face to face with a leopard — Dangerous curiosity — Another 
camp adventure — A shooting camp disturbed — Besieged by a 
wild elephant — Its threatening attitude — A thrilling moment — 
Suspense relieved — A well-considered shot — Comical conclusion — 
A Christmas camp— Some bears marked down — The beat begun — A 
frock-coated sportsman — Charged by a bear — His headlong flight 
— Coat-tails flying — Caught in a creeper — A Scotch doctor to the 
rescue — A lucky fluke — " Get up, mon, I've shot the bar " — Proud 
of his success — His boast 53 



CHAPTER IX 

bear adventure — Following up the tracks — A black object seen — An 
erroneous conclusion — Firing too hastily — An old woman shot dead 
— Howls from the Press — Bloodthirsty suggestions — Another bear 
adventure — A short-sighted sportsman — " Thinking it was a bear " 
— " What, not dead yet?" — The second barrel — A revelation and 
explanation — Disturbing the bees — Pandemonium — Horses stung 
to death — Floods in Khandesh — A perilous adventure — Saving a 
woman's life — Native gratitude — A thankless task — A change of 
headquarters — My mosque bungalow — Said to be haunted — The 
ghost appears — Life at Nundobar — Coursing jackals, etc. — Cholera 
epidemic — A village devastated — Lose my cook — Death of the 
apothecary — I turn doctor — A successful prescription — Administer- 
ing the mixture — My patient recovers — A claim for damages — A 
police mutiny averted — Drastic measures — My orders upheld — My 
first attempt at spearing a panther on horseback — An exciting chase 
— The panther crouching — Avoids the thrust — Seeks refuge amongst 
the rocks — A lucky escape — Panther spearing — A dangerous but 
most attractive form of sport — Railways and their influence on 
game — Revisiting old hunting grounds — Ravages caused by axe and 
plough — The march of civilization — Jimgle now devoid of game — 
Sic transit gloria mujidi 62 



CHAPTER X 

My duties as tiger slayer — Panthers included — Some description of 
them — Variety of the species — Size, weight, and markings — What 
they prey on — Climbing powers — Their courage and ferocity in 
attack — How they feed on their kills — Man-eating leopards — The 
black panther rare — The cheetah — Panthers difiicult to locate — 
Returning to their kills — Dangerous to follow up — An experiment 
with buck shot — S.S.G. best for close quarters — Panther im- 
expectedly encountered — My Shikari attacked and mauled — A huge 
beast — Another panther hiint — Attacks and mauls beater — Its final 
charge — Finished with S.S.G. — The uncertainty of sport — Killed 
with a single shot — Handsomely marked skins — An unusual sight 
— Tiger and panther seen together — Abject terror of the latter — 
Slinking off into the jtmgle — A tiger's sovereignty of the jungles — 

xii 



CONTENTS 



The wild boar excepted — Uncertainty — The fascination of Indian 
sport — An unexpected meeting with a bear — Bagged — Capture the 
cub— Becomes quite tame in time — Walking out with the dogs- — A 
leopard adventure in Bengal — Shooting for the pot — A partridge 
shot — Retrieving the bird — Sudden appearance of a leopard — 
Changing cartridges — Leopard dropped but still alive — Attempts 
to charge — No more ball cartridge— On the horns of a dilemma — 
My orderly's ingenuity — An extemporized projectile — Complete 
success 



TXG* 



71 



CHAPTER XI 

Take three months' leave — A shooting trip to Central Provinces — A fine 
shooting country — Local Shikaris — A monster tiger bagged — Hear 
of many bears — Sitting up at night — A great fusillade — Surprising 
result — My feat with a -360 — Hitting the right spot — A fine bison 
brought to bag — Stalking a herd — Within tian yards of a bull — A 
tempting shot—Taking a risk — The '860 scores again — Astonishing 
my friend — A remarkable performance — Small bores not suitable for 
big game — Exceptional cases — The Indian bison — Where to bo 
found — Average size of — General appearance— Description of the 
horns — Difference between bulls and cows — Difficult to approach — 
Solitary bulls — Savage and morose — Stalking two bulls — Risking a 
shot — " Missed " — A long chase — Come upon them at last — Off 
again — Another long chase — Found once more — A right and left — 
Doubt as to result — Following up — A pleasing surprise — Both foimd 
dead — Camping out for the night — A favourite resort for bison — 
Encounter with a solitary bull — The first shot — Following up 
tracks— A determined charge — Effects of an 8-bore — Why solitary 
bulls are savage — Dangerous not only to sportsmen — Exucllod from 
herds — Solitary wild elephants and buffalo .80 



CHAPTER XII 

The Indian wild buffalo — Its sise, appearance and habitat — Dangers 
in tracking them up — An encounter with a solitary ball — A shot 
with lO-boro rifl&— Hit but not disabled— At bay— Effects of a 
second shot — Threatening to charge — A timely shot — Floored — A 
herd encountered — Selecting the bull — Badly nit bat makes off — 
Found lying up— Dead or alive? — The question anexpeotedly 
solved — The advantage of being prepared — A shot in the chest — 
The last gallop — Baffalo shooting a dangerous pastime— Poor 
troDhies as a role— The Indian bear— A terror to the DatiT»— Attack 
witnoat provocation — Many victims — Bears oncertain In temper — 
Effects of feeding on intoxicating berries — Dvagsroos to ftiirli 
Vwrr tonaoioos of Ufe— Slse and gMMnl ^ppearaiw Whsw foand 
—The bast plan for bear shooting— -TlieT afford good spoci— Two 
narrow escapes — An exciting advennire— No rocnn for two to pass — 
A lucky sboi — The non-dangeroos big game of India — Tint m sias 
and Importanoe — ^The sambar — Some desorlptlon of this animal — A 
good head— A fine trophy— The hara^^ng or swamp dear— lis 
rssemblanoe to the red deer— The ehetol or spotted da^^— Tba 
bandywMrt of the deer tribe— The barking deer^The moase and 
hog dMT dMoribed S7 



CONTENTS 



CHAPTER XIII 

PAOS 

Indian antelope — Black -buck the best known — Where found — Descrip- 
tion, habits, etc. — Rifle recommended — The Indian gazelle — The 
gazelle or chinkara — Its peculiar call — The four-horned antelope — 
Flesh uneatable — The Nil Ghi — IMeaning of the name — Ibex or 
wild goat of Asia Minor — A stalk described — Rolling down a 
precipice — Ibex driving in Afghanistan — Posted to Sholapur — No 
big game — Pig-sticking — The sport described — A comparison — A 
boar described — Its formidable weapon — How used — Riding for 
first spear — Keen competition — The pig-sticking spear — Spears 
used in Bombay and Madras — The short spear of Bengal — Blades — 
Varieties in shape of — Horses best suited for the sport — Cunning of 
the boar — Its courage and determination — A formidable foe — Some 
runs described — The secret of success — Full speed a necessity — A 
sport sui generis — I lose a favourite terrier from hydrophobia — 
Two servants bitten — Apparently none the worse — A tragic sequel — 
Both men die of hydrophobia — No clue as to how the dog was 
bitten — The danger of owning pugnacious terriers — Village curs 
dangerous to fight with 95 



CHAPTER XIV 

A lack of amusement — Fishing on the lake — Good sport — Snake charm- 
ing — A performance described — " Music hath charms " — Discordant 
but fascinating — Lured out of a well — A marvellous performance — 
Removing poisonous fangs — The hamadryad — Its rapidity of move- 
ment — A friend's experience — Hatching the eggs — A male mother 
— The nest found — A rare specimen — The insatiable collector — The 
biter bit — The snake stone — Method of using it — The cure effected 
— An heirloom — Purging the stone — A narrow escape — Rough on 
the fishing-rod — A snake in the hall — Prompt measures — Taking 
the bull by the horns — A strange protest — Posted to Shikapur — 
Its evil reputation — The hottest place in India — How we keep cool 
at night — Sand-flies and mosquitoes — Sand storms — No regular 
rainfall — A change to Sukkur — Cold weather — Short and severe — 
Wild-fowl in plenty — Pleasant days at Khairpur — An old-time 
chieftain — A sportsman over seventy — Wild shooting — Ali Murad 
and his falcons — -A day's hawking — Well-trained birds — An old 
reprobate — Curious way of fishing 103 



CHAPTER XV 

After furlough— Posted to Bijapur— A city of the dead— Tomb as 
official residence — Mosque with whispering gallery — A dome larger 
than St. Paul's — My tomb-house — Its advantage and drawbacks — 
Plague and famine — My next station — The sacred city of Nasik — 
On plague duty — High-handedness and extortion — Discontent 
— Riot and murder— Victims of the plague— Dacoities and sedition 
— Police measures — A robber chief — His formidable gang — Baffles 
the police — A police post attacked — Pursuit — A havildar and his 

xiv 



CONTENTS 



men killed — Vengeance on a spy — Organize a flying column — The 
robber Btronghold stormed — Desperate resistance — Heavy cawnaltkia 
on both sides — Capture of ring-leader and ihlB gang — ^Treasure 
recovered — A fine body of men — A wounded robber chief in hospital 
— Some startling revelations — A sporting ruffian — Sedition in 
Naeik — Mistaken sympathy from the Press — Trial and conviction 
of the ring-leaders — Inadequate sentenoes — Agitation renewed — 
Manufacture of bombs — Art acquired in Europe by so-called 
■tadants — Murder of officials — A judge shot in native theatre . . 110 



CHAPTER XVI 

Wild animals as pets — I start a menagerie — Experiments with tiger and 
panther cube — Hunting by scent or sight and hearing? — A much- 
vexed question practically decided — Conclusive evidence—" Billy," 
my tiger cub— Pillow fights with tiger cube — The dog-boy and his 
oluurges — A troublesome pair — Oymkhana for the police — Bicycles 
supersede horses — Be-visit Khandnsh — A hunting box — Old friends- 
Shooting under difficulties — Blank days — A tiger at last reported — 
The beat — A tiger and tigress put up — Charging the beaters — 
Situation becomes dangerotis — ^Bescuing the stops — The beat aban- 
doned for the night — Disappointment — Nasik antiquities — Traffic 
in curios — Made in Birmingham^ — ^Transferred to Dharwar — 
Shooting off ladders — ^An aoddent near ending in a tragedy — Fit 
only for a madhouse — An interesting temple — The god Khundobar 
— Said to have been a sportsman — Hunting vrith his hounds- 
Worshippers assume attitude and character of dogs — Feeding the 
dog-devotees — On all fours — Biting and barking — A reptUsive and 
d(^jading exhibition — Backsheesh the main object .... 118 



CHAPTER XVII 

! Western Ghats — Castle Rook and Morumgoa — ^ne 
Spend a hot season at Castie Rock — A kill in a ravine— The gbns 
posted — A tiger Tiewed — A doubtful hit — Bapn the opItmMi — A 
tell-tale leaf — An advanoe In close order — The enemT pnpane to 
charge — Careful shooting nioBiary — Snooess — Following up a 
wounded bear — A corioas stoiT — Seoond i^i— An app^tkm In 
the nli^t — ConTinoing evldenoe — An apology to my readen — 
Another tUnr marked down — Caught napping — An unexpected an- 
Gooofter— My periloos position— Faoe to Ja ee A dsnenle ncoeeed- 
inf— Seekiag vefofe In m hodi— ^ pteeacioiai ■belter— Swf—s 
nUared— A loeky sh ot Onrions erldenee oi a reoant irletim— A 
man -ea tin g panther— Oarriss off a child— The body found— Waicli- 
Ingovar the remains — An eerie vigil— A jackal greedy hat saq^eloos 
—The panther at last— Cre^lnf m to the ** kUl "—Only five yards 
oil— A steady shot at his ehea^— Hit, bol not dead— Too danfacoos 



to follow up^y night— vElie hnnt isaiiaiail TiaiiHiMilij blood and 



looiprints— Found dead— A waU-neoikhsd bsartlha iillaoy of 
theories regarding man-eaten 1S8 



XV 



CONTENTS 



CHAPTER XVIII 

PAG] 

A bait taken — Living animals as bait — A seemingly cruel practice — 
Reasons for adopting it — A tigress put up — Missed — Charging 
through the beaters — Cubs discovered — An all-night vigil — The tigress 
returns — Finding her cubs — Process described — An opportunity 
lost — The cubs disappear — Tigress or ghost — How the cubs iwere 
removed — Morning at last — Tracking up — Death of the tigress — 
The cubs found — Dharwar again — A shooting camp — News of game 
— Daily disappointments — Two tigers reported at last — The beat — 
Turned by a stop — A roar and a rush — A hurried shot — Instan- 
taneous effects — The tiger's mate — Beaters charged again — Marked 
down — Drawing lots for places — A tempting offer — Why I rejected 
it — Premature congratulation — The tigress let off again — Questions 
and answers — Extraordinary performance — Subsequent explana- 
tions — What might have been accomplished — The shikaris' disgust 
— A panther in my tent — My dogs wake me up — A desperate struggle 
in the dark — Firing haphazard — A sudden crash — Ominous silence — 
The servants aroused — They arrive with a lantern — What the light 
revealed — One dog missing — Carried off by a panther — A fruitless 
pursuit in the dark — Resumed at daybreak — Remains of Rover 
found — An unsuccessful vigil — The spot revisited months later — A 
panther shot — Was it the same ? 134 



CHAPTER XIX 

The destruction of panthers — Trapping often necessary — A trap described 
— A trapping incident — Screams in the dead of night — Turning out 
the guard — Rush to the rescue — What was found in the trap — The 
biter bit — " A fine bait for the panther " — Drugged and disorderly — 
Bhil police and prisoners — How the position was reversed — A par- 
tridge shooting record — The Dangchia Bhils — An extraordinary^race 
— Monkeys and rats as food — Belief in witchcraft — Veneration for 
tigers — Habits and customs — Another quaint people — Professional 
bird-snarers — Their snares described — A terror to legitimate sports- 
men — Why panthers are so destructive — Less dangerous to human 
life than tigers — An example — Sportsman charged by a wounded 
tiger — Attempt to escape— A fatal slip — Severely mauled — Succumbs 
to injuries — Another fatal accident — Wounded tiger in high grass 
jungle — A sudden charge — Savage attack — Shaken like a rat — Ex- 
traordinary courage shown by a Goanese butler — Grappling with a 
tiger unarmed — A double tragedy — Twelve-foot tigers — A myth — 
How to cure and preserve skin and heads — Hot-blooded animals 
should be skinned promptly — Instructions for skinning — Pegging 
dovra — How to retain proportions — Burnt alum or wood ashes — 
Trophies to be looked after — A curious result of neglect . . . 142 



CHAPTER XX 

An apology and explanation — Big-game shooting and the camera — Some 
advice on the subject — How a fine picture was saved — Morumgoa 
and Goa — Poisonous water snakes and jelly fish — Phenomenal 
rainfalls — Ancient rights and dignity — Convicted criminals at large 

xvi 



CONTENTS 

TAtm 

—Method of diepensiag justice — A lengthy irUI — Distortion of 
evidence — Paid by the page — Jadgee' feee — How regulated — More 
prisoners out of gaol than in it — A Gilbertian system — Beeult of the 
trial — An interesting but depressing relic — A city of palaces that 
was — The cathedral and shrines — Site of " Auto da fe " — St. Zavier, 
the Patron Saint — Curious discrepancies — The convent by the sea — 
An old story retold — Abduction of a nun — A modem Paladin — An 
unpleasant surprise — The great festival of the Church — Mummified 
boay of the Saint — A sacrilegious souvenir hunter — The glass cofi&n 
— Transfer to Poonah — A bed of sedition — Absence of sport — Effect 
of the war on India — Surat my next station — The " Cradle of India " 
— Battered forts and ruins — The Nawabs and their descendants — 
An ancient Begum — Opposing foictions — Pearl trade — Origin and 
present position — German intrigues and aspirations — The pearl 
merchant — The sorting and polishing processes — A magnificent 
specimen 151 



CHAPTER XXI 

Decide on a shooting trip to Somaliland — Popular belief about its 
inhabitants — Erroneous ideas — Diminishing game — Collecting in* 
formation — Preparations for the expedition — Initial difficulties 
finally overcome — Calling for volunteers — Oungdya and Sabha 
come forward — A study in contrasts— Stores and equipment — My 
battery — Embark for Aden — The voyage — Its effect on the two 
Bhils — Explaining the compass — Arrive at Aden — ^Take passage to 
Berbera— Black beeUes and noisy natives— Collecting a '«Kafil»"— 
Purchase baopMn OMBels — Engaging an escort — Supplies and pro- 
visions — A des<A^ ]uid — DriUing the escort — Abdi, the headman 
— His multifarious duties — Hie construction of zarebas — A camp 
in Somaliland described — Engage two Shikaris — Khalifla and Nur — 
Projects and plans — UnfrienoUy natives likely to be encountered — 
Confidence in Abdi — Troubles with camel men — Marching aoroM a 
watatoM plain — Somalis armed to the teeth — Wild appearance of 
Umm mm — ^Decorated mnrderen — Wei^ona used In waifare— 
Booaali wranen — ^Their drees and appearance — ^Noi held in much 
account — Often abandoned on the miarch 161 



CHAPTER XXII 

An uninviting oounirr— OaaeUss oooMionaUy met with— Barijaaomlng 
marches— The dik-dik antelope— Large bods sss n l bs Ufe- 
swlngar— Tsttifle heat Ths Nadym or ShaUsr trss Basoh tbs 
msk water — LkB<teiidmoimtain — TIm Immt koodoo— Thdr i 



mm water — Jtan-Maa momitato — Tbs immt koodoo— Tomt •pps«r> 
aaos and baUts— Biteaordinary lading powsn— Sboot a fins book 
—Ascending the Oolis Baago— Haont (4 tbs gtsatar koodoo— Mews 
of an old boll — A troitlsss ssarob — Bstaming to camp— A plsssoat 
sarpriss— Soddsn arasaranes of tbe boU— A bngsbot— Baggsd— A 
splsodi4 tnpby-— Tbe greater koodoo deserihed— Ws manb m fOHle 
to TT s tM sa Wild woodsd oouitrT^-Oryx. sad bsHsbssst saooim. 
tarsd— ShooMng for tbo pot— Maay mootbs to fssd— Tbs ofjs. ap> 
pMcanos and bsbits Aberd of four bmtdred sssd— Wooadsd Ofyx 



xvu 



CONTENTS 



dangerous — Bushmen's method of killing these animals — Poisoned 
arrows and dogs — Uses made of the skins — The hartebeest — Several 
species — Fine texture of coats — Peculiarity of the skull — Vast herds 
often met with — The inquisitiveness of these animals — Indifference 
to thirst — The sommering gazelle — Very common in Somaliland — 
A herd of one thousand — Peculiar characteristic — Variety in shape 
of horns — Subject to parasitical maggots — Flesh uneatable 



CHAPTER XXIII 

The Girnook or Waller gazelle — Whore found — A giraSe-like antelope — 
Extraordinary length of neck — Small herds — Difficult to approach — 
Advantages of a long neck — Halt at Hargesa — March continued — 
Arrive at Arabsea — Our zareba at night — A lion prowling around — 
We hear but cannot see him — The lion's call — Next morning search — 
Marked down — Beating through the grass — My first lion — A splendid 
specimen — Lions and tigers compared — Difference in skulls — Game 
plentiful — Two more lions sighted — Gallop in pursuit — A savage 
charge — Chased for one hundred yards — I shoot the lion — In pursuit 
of the other — Crouched in a patch of grass — A snap-shot — My third 
Hon — Raiding Somalis met with — A lioness and cubs — I shoot the 
mother — Escape of the cubs — Man-eating lions common — A woman 
carried off — Tracking up the man-eater — I faU to locate him — Shoot 
a cock ostrich — Bushmen wonderful trackers — A hunter killed by a 
wild elephant — Torn limb from limb — Too light a rifle — Difference 
between Asiatic and African elephants — Latter superior in size — A 
herd of a hundred — Most dangerous of African game — Tenacity of 
life extraordinary — Skull curiously protected — The temple shot 
preferable — Not always successful — A male and female wounded — 
Curious results of shots from 8-bore Paradox 



CHAPTER XXIV 

We strike camp — Arrive in Elephant Country — An attempted mutiny 
in camp — One black sheep in the flock — Armed literally to the 
teeth — Alarming situation — Drastic measures necessary — I threaten 
to shoot the ring-leader — A critical moment — Cocking my rifle turns 
the scale — Order restored — Jungles teeming with game — Herd of 
elephants reported — Preparation for the attack — In the midst of 
the herd — Shoot one of them — Habe-Awal and Gadabarsi horsemen 
surround the herd — Jungle alive with elephants — I kill five bulls 
and one cow — Fine haul of tusks — Continue hunt next morning — 
At unpleasantly close quarters — Under the elephant's trunk — Saved 
by standing still — The elephant moves off — A parting shot in the 
ribs — Follow up and finish her — Shoot another buU — Bivouac for 
the night — Lion heard calling — News of a large bull — Found and 
wounded — A determined charge — Retires into a jungle — At bay — 
I hit him again — Another charge — I am chased and nearly caught — 
I give him the slip — Return to camp — Take up tracks next day — 
Found dead — Move camp — Six elephants bagged one day — Charged 
by a cow elephant — A Somali attracts her attention — She chases 
him — He is caught and killed instantly — Pounded beyond recogni- 
tion — I kill the elephant — We try, but fail to capture the calf . 

xviii 



CONTENTS 



CHAPTER XXV 

PAO> 

Move my camp — En route to Abyssinian border — Halt at Earia — 
Oungdya bitten by a snake — Rough-and-ready remedies — The 
patient recovers— A deadly adder —I am regarded as a curiosity — 
An involuntary exhibition — Bad water — The water difficulty — 
March resumed — Shoot a wart-hog — The animal described — A 
permanent camp — Good sport — Native elephant hunters — Their 
methods described — Quotation from Sir Samuel Baker — Hamstring- 
ing elephants — A renowned Arab hunter — Advancing on his quarry 
— The bay mare — Face to face — A tense moment — The hunter 
hunted— Clever manoeuvring — The blow delivered — A handful of 
dust — The second blow — Bleeding to death — A herd of giraffe — 
The Somali speciee different from South African — I secure a fine 
old bull — The hunt described — Another bull shot — The wild ass — 
Secure two as speoimens — A woman and child abandoned by 
Somalia — I act the good Samaritan — Death of the mother — The 
infant on my hands— How to rear it ? — The problem solved — Con- 
densed milk and sago — Wonderful results — The pet of the camp — 
Infant physical culture — The Somali method — My leave draws to a 
close — Forced marches to the coast — Malodorous trophies — Back 
to Bombay — I meet Sir Samuel Baker — Interesting conversation — 
An enthusiastic sportsman 190 



CHAPTER XXVI 

At Dbarwar again — Hear of wild elephants in Kanara jungle — Damage 
done to crops — Native district officer puxzled — His petition to 
Government — Forest officer and myself consulted — Suggestion and 
inaction — I act on my own — Special shooting camp — An unlucky 
guest — Some emtio shooting — " Nearly a record bag " — Com- 
mendable perseverance — The ^ephants at last — A moonlight hunt 
— Watching the herd — Close quarters — 1 fire at a bull — A forehead 
shot — Effect instantaneous — Another boll floored — Let off a small 
one — The herd m^kes off— Congratulations — Dangarous " vermin " 
— Natives' misuse of English words and phrases — A slave to roles 
and regulations — The lonely railway station — Young Bengal — A 
sudden invasion — Flight of the staff — Besieged in his offic*— Only 
thing to be done — A wire to Headquarters — " Tiger in oharoe " — 
Reauxing the situation — A night of mental torture — Morning farinfi 
relief— Wild dogs — The damage they do— A nnlsanoe to ■yoitiin w i 
— Hunting in Moks — Tigers ooceitenally •ttaoked— Desenpfekm of 
the animal — Differenoe between the wild and the domestfe dog — 
Crocodile, method of MiMking their Tiotims— The final nah . . 196 



CHAPTER XXVII 

Wild-fowl and small nme plentiful— CooUn and 8ani»— Vsnwted 1^ 
n a ti v s s M a n y alligators— I shoot one— Internal evldenee of homan 
▼lettna— Muggnrs— The snob-noeed varie^^-Oood fishing— Wild 
figi md fron as bait— Shootbig fish— llkieves In camp Bo— 
desoription oltheir methode A vletim's wperienoe Chntoe between 

xix 



CONTENTS 



being robbed or murdered — A clever thief — Carelessness of native 
syces — An example — Pony trap adventure — Both reins unbuckled — 
Pony bolts with cart — Two helpless women — A railway level crossing 
— Charging the gates — A smash — Advantages of being a heavy 
weight — Lying insensible on the line — A train approaching — 
Agonizing suspense — A miraculous escape — The distracted husband 
— Well-merited castigation — Driving accidents not uncommon in 
India — Partially trained horses — Amateur horse-breaking — Imple- 
ments used — Home-made, but useful — The break — Ramshackle con- 
trivance — A haphazard system — Dangerous vices engendered — 
Bolting and shying — I fall a victim to the latter — More native 
carelessness — A coronation celebration — Arranging for a royal 
salute — An ancient weapon found — Volunteer gunners — Loading 
the weapon — The supreme moment arrives — The salute is fired — 
Direful results — A tragic ending 



CHAPTER XXVIII 

A veteran police inspector — Some of his exploits — Tulia Naik — A famous 
dacoit leader — Small beginnings — First arrest — Escapes from his 
escort — Forms a gang — A terror to the neighbourhood — Baffles the 
police — Inspector on his track — The tables turned — Captures the 
inspector — A drinking bout — The inspector's opportunity — A clever 
re-arrest — Convicted — An apparent reformation — Return to crime 

— Final surrender — Transported for life — Sir F S r — A 

notable police officer — Rising of the Bhils — Babajee their leader — 

His arrest attempted — Refusal to surrender — Captain H of the 

police shot dead — Escape of the gang — Subsequent pursuit — Sir 

F S r in command — The gang marked down — Disguised as 

a native — Babajee found bathing — Captured in the water by Sir 

F S r — A remarkable achievement — Many of the gang 

secured — Importance of the capture — Compliment paid to the 
police — Relation between the military and police — Commissioner 
of Police, Bombay — A lakh of rupees offered as a bribe — The offer 

indignantly refused — Strange action of the Government — Sir F 

S r and an American globe-trotter — His anxiety to see the man 

who had refused so large a bribe — Enquires if true I — His astonish- 
ment when convinced — " Guess you Britishers will keep India ! " . 



CHAPTER XXIX 

Small-game shooting in India — The season for this sport — Snipe offers 
best sport — Arrival of these birds — Two varieties of true snipe — 
Other kinds, the jack and painted snipe — Migratory birds — Large 
bag can be made — Quail — SmaU charges and 20-bore preferable 
■ — River and bush quail — Partridges — Three kinds — Painted, grey, 
and black — The last best for table — Sand-grouse — Strong on the 
wing — Floriken finest game bird in India — Peculiar habit of the 
cock — Native explanation — Very plentiful in places — Indian bustard 
— A huge bird — Good sport for rook rifle — Peafowl and Indian 
plover — Ortalon, too small for sport — Snared i by natives — Excellent 
eating — Wild-fowl — Many kinds — Found on tanks — Very numerous 

XX 



CONTENTS 



— The blae-winged teal — An excellent bird — Cotton and whuitling 
teal — Not worth shooting — Widgeon and pochards — Swarm in 
thoufiands — Mallard — Similar to the English bird — The spotted bill 
and ^wall — The pin-tailed duck — The red-orested pochard and 
white-eyed dock — The shoveller — Wild geese — Two varieties — The 
common, or grey-bag, and the pink-footed gooee — A curious hybrid 
bird, half goose, half duck — Bittern — Same as the English bird — 
Ground game — Hare only — No rabbits in India — Hare aQord good 
cooraing with Persian hounds 222 



CHAPTER XXX 

HcmnantB of Babajee gang — Joined by the Barwattis — A formidable 
coalition — Rounding them up — Another European officer shot dead — 
The gang finally destroyed — More about tigers — A tigress and three 
cubs— Monkeys announce their presence — I shoot the tigress — 
Driving out the cubs — Two roUod over — Beaters dispose of third — 
Wounded tigers often lost — Cases in point — H.) A tiger on an island 
— The b«kt begun — A momentary glimpse — Snap -shooting — Crash- 
ing through the jungle — Mysterioos disappearance — " Here he is I " 
— Found dead under water! — A mangy specimen — A remarkable 
dying efiort — (2) Another instance — Three tigers put up — Two soon 
disposed of — In pursuit of the third — Marked down — A snap-shot 
agam— Concluded he was missed — Further search abandoned — 
Found dead the next day — Man-eating tigers — Happily now rare — 
Indenting on ancient history — Alarming news at 5 a.m. — Camp in 
transit — Attacked by man-eater — Disobedience of orders — A bullock 
driver carried off — Panic-stricken servants — Pursuit taken up — The 
bodv found hall eaten — Man-eating tigers on high road — The traffic 
held up — Seven hundred human victims ! — Mail-cart attacked — 
Tiger jumps from a hillock — Horse badly scarred^-Shown to travellers 
as a curiosity 230 



ZXl 



LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS 



FACING PAQB 

The Tiger Slayer — His Shikaris and Some Trophies Frontispiece 

A Noble Trophy , , 48 

Bull Buffalo (Central Provinces) 48 

Panther (Khandesh) — A Nasty Customer 72 

A Fine Bison bagged 82 

Bull Bison (Khandesh), shot with -360 Express .... 90 

The Bear, shot with -360 Express 90 

Chetul or Spotted Deer 92 

A Sambar (Central Provinces) 92 

Snake-charmer with live Cobra 102 

Ali Murad, Chief of Khairpur (Baluchistan) 108 

Ibex (Baluchistan) 109 

My Finest Koodoo Bull 109 

A Shooting Camp 118 

The Indian Boar 119 

Approaching Tigerhood : " Billy " the Cub 119 

Skinning a Tiger 148 

Trophy Room, Looking East 150 

Trophy Room, Looking West 150 

A Jungle Scene (Khandesh) 152 

The Morning Bath, " Motee " and " Pir Bux " 153 

My Camp in Elephant Country (Harawa Valley) .... 166 

Lesser Koodoo Bull (Africa) 170 

Waller's Gazelle (Africa) 170 

Oryx Bull (Africa) 174 

Hartebeest (Africa) 174 

A Sommering Gazelle (Africa) 176 

Gazelle Naso (Africa) 176 

Black-maned Lion (Africa) 178 

My First Lion (Africa) 178 

Bull Elephant (Africa) 182 

The Sleep of Death (African Bull Elephant) 182 

The Vicious Cow Elephant (Africa) 188 

Victors and Vanquished 192 

Tigress and her Cubs 232 

xxii 



TIGER SLAYER BY ORDER 



CHAPTER I 

Decide on an Indian career — The lure of big game hunting — Considering 
ways sad means of adopting it professionally — Final resolution — 
Sail for India, en route for Bombay — ^The pains and {Jeasores of a 
voyage to the East — A game of quoits interrupted — Man overboard ! 
attempts) at rescue — The shark and it^ victim — Some remarks about 
sharks — Superstitions concerning them — ^The voyage at an end — 
Anxiety to land explained — " Privilege leave," ita object and ad- 
vantages described — A description of Bombay — First impressions 
of the East — ^The elephant caves, or tempJes, and their gods — ^The 
Towers tA SUenoe cmneteries — Swarms ol vnltarBB — Gruesome reascnai 
for their prOBO nee— Parsis, their origin, customs and religion: an 
enlightened and interasting race — Preparation for journey to Guserat 
— BuUook carta described — Anticipation of sport — Purchase a gun 
in the Bazar — Discomfort and luxury of railway travelling in India — 
l'\ill length sfeeping accommodation — Long journeys rendoed comfort- 
able. 

When at the age of nineteen, now some thirty years ago, 
I set out to seek my fortune in India, I had already made up 
my mind that whatever career I might adopt, or be com- 
pelled by necessity to accept, my leisure hours should be 
dev(»te<l to the hunting of big game. From my earliest 
childhood upwards, I had read every book on Indian und 
African sport I was able to procure till by the time my story 
opens, to become a big-game hunter was the one object of 
my life. Iiuieed so iufutuated was I with this notion that 
had I been a free agent at the time, and possessed of 
sufiioient capital to embark on the adventure, I might 
possibly have adopted big-game himting as a professicmal 
pursuit. 

Fortunately for my future, however, I was neither free 
to choose my own profession nor had I the capital to invest 

B 1 



TIGER SLAYER BY ORDER 

in any scheme so idiotic, for as I learnt later professional 
big-game hunting in India is practically tabooed, nor even 
if permissible to engage in it, would the profit derived from 
its pursuit cover the cost of ammunition much less provide 
a livelihood for the hunter. 

Nevertheless the fact that big-game shooting was ob- 
tainable in India — even if it had to be combined with some 
less congenial occupation, was quite sufficient to inspire 
me with the desire to go out. 

Thus it came about that on a bright March morning, 

I found myself and my belongings on board the s.s. , 

en route for Bombay, and eventually Guzerat where my 
father was then commanding the 1st Bombay Grenadiers. 

The voyage out was not in any way remarkable, and 
except for one incident, my experiences were probably 
much the same as those of the majority of youngsters 
making this great voyage to the East. The first night on 
board with all its attendant discomfort and anxiety, 
followed by days perhaps of sea-sickness and misery — till 
a calmer sea restores his physical and mental equilibrium, 
must obviously be endured by all who voyage on the waters, 
and to those who do so for the first time in their lives, must 
necessarily prove more irksome. 

But after these first few painful days comes a period 
generally most enjoyable, for amongst the crowd of pas- 
sengers on board a P. & O. there are always some to be 
found both capable and willing to cater for the amusement 
of the rest. 

Thus once the stormy waters of the " famous " Bay 
are passed — and weather conditions consequently more 
favourable — life on board assumes a very different hue. 
Dances, concerts, or theatricals now fill up the after- 
dinner hours, which heretofore had passed with leaded 
feet, while cricket, deck-quoits or shovel-board tend to 
shorten the otherwise long periods between meals. 

It was while one of these exciting contests was in 
progress that the exceptional incident I have referred to 
occurred. The game was one of deck-quoits, so far as I 
remember, the ship being in the Indian Ocean at the time 
— about half-way between Aden and Bombay. 

It was a lovely morning with hardly a ripple on the 
2 



A MAS OVERBOARD 

water, breakfast was just over and those of the passengers 
not actually engaged in the contest were all on deck, some 
smoking and others interested spectators. 

Suddenly there came from somewhere forward that awe- 
inspiring cry " Man overboard ! " In an instant there was 
a rush to the side — instinctively the one over which the 
man had fallen. 

The ship was brought to immediately, but before a 
boat could be lowered the man gave one long piercing 
scream, threw up his hands, and disappeared. 

A few moments later the fin of a shark was seen cutting 
swiftly through the water, but whether this was the beast 
concerned we could not tell, probably it was not, for there 
had been hardly time for it to have disposed of its victim, 
nor were there any blood-stains on the surface of the water. 
The imfortunatc man was one of the lascars of the 
ship, who, while furUng an awning, had suddenly lost his 
balance and fallen overboard, but would, in all probability 
have been saved, for, like all natives, he could swim like 
a fish, happier for him had it been otherwise since he would 
have met with an easier death. 

After this sad incident it was remembered that sliarks 
had been seen following the ship, a fact which by the 
supcrstitiously-inclincd might tend to confirm the belief, 
said to have been held by ancient mariners, that when a 
shark follows a ship it is a sign that before long there will 
''o a death on board 1 

But although this tradition doubtless owes its origin 

!" some coincidental happenings of the kind, it was not 

I (ally verified in this case, for the Indian Ocean is, as 

verybody knows, infested with these monsters, and they 

i to prefer swimming on the surface to under water. 

MFC, in calm weather, frequently to be seen, and easily 

ti hed by the peculiar sliape of the dorsiil fm. That 

"i Jild follow a ship, moreover, is not at all surprising, 

onsidering that a shark is probably the most voracious 
"T all (iratures inhabiting scii or land and t' "int of 

"tf I ;.iiti edible refuse of all kinds that is con . being 

thrown overboard from ships. 

However, be this all as it may, the incident cast a gloom 
over the ship, for to those who had actually seen the man 

8 




TIGER SLAYER BY ORDER 

pulled down, and heard his agonizing scream, the scene 
was one calculated to impress itself too deeply on the mind 
to be easily erased. 

But fortunately the voyage was now nearly at an end, 
and three or four days later we dropped anchor in the 
harbour of Bombay. Here, after the usual trouble and 
delay, I succeeded at length in re-establishing connection 
with my heavy luggage — produced from that mysterious 
receptacle somewhere in the bowels of the ship known as 
the hold. 

My belongings being collected, I lost no time in going 
ashore, accompanied by many others, all seemingly anxious 
to be there as speedily as possible. This seemed strange, 
for the voyage, on the whole, had been a most enjoyable 
one, but all who have travelled much by sea will probably 
understand it, for, however pleasant a voyage may have 
been, it is seldom that any one desires to prolong it, and 
no sooner has the vessel reached her destination, than all 
are anxious to be out of her with the least possible delay — 
even the professional sailorman who makes his ship his 
home, is apparently no exception to this rule. 

The conclusion to be drawn from this is obviously that 
the average individual is not by nature partial to a life on 
the ocean waves, but only tolerates it for so long as necessity 
compels him so to live. 

Amongst those who hurried ashore, however, were 
possibly some returning from three months' privilege leave, 
and who, having to rejoin their respective stations within a 
given date, had probably to leave by the first train out. 

" Privilege leave," by the way, though a curious and 
somewhat cryptic combination of words, is one of the 
conditions of Indian Service, much valued by Anglo-Indian 
officers, both civil and military, since it is the only form 
of leave that can be taken on full pay. It is accumulative, 
but limited to three months at a time. 

The principle on which it works is this — for every eleven 
months' completed service, an officer earns one . month's 
leave, which may, if not availed of then, remain to his 
credit, and is allowed to accumulate up to a limit of three 
months. Then at the end of thirty-three months' con- 
tinuous service, an officer can claim three months' leave of 



FIRST IMPRESSIONS 

which he can avail himself at any time. The chief ad- 
vantage, and in fact object, of this system being that as 
i he whole of this leave is on full pay, the recipient can 

Iford the expense of his passage home and back, and if 
he travels by the mail, gives him six clear weeks at home. 
But I am afraid I have rather wandered from my story, 

I) must now come back to it. 

Every Englishman landing for the first time in Bombay, 
must necessarily be struck with the extraordinary con- 
trast it presents to any city or cities he may be acquainted 
with either in England or even on the Continent, for despite 
its reputation as the most European of the three Presidential 

ipitals of India, the Oriental atmosphere about it is quite 

> marked as that of Madras or Calcutta, though possibly 
its European population — in proportion to its size — is 
larger and, to use the modern comprehensive phrase, more 
up-to-date — which is but natural seeing that it lies three 
days by land and several by sea, closer to London and Paris, 
the recognized centres of civilization. 

In the matter of public institutions, such as Clubs and 

Hotels, Bombay, at the time I write of, was, and probably 

still, far ahead of its two sister cities; the Byculla and 

V I' ht Clubs being well known for their excellence, while 

\\;il sun's hotel, at that time the only institution worthy 

r the name in India, had a wide and well-merited reputation 
ior comfort and excellence of its cuisine. 

But even while enjoying these comforts, not to say 
luxuries, products proper of Western civiliication, the 
uewly-arrived traveller will find it difficult to forget he is 
ill the Elast, for the irritating mosquito buzzing continu- 
ously around him, or a cockroach — two inches long at 
l< I si —scurrying across the matted floor, would in them- 

«'lves be sufficient to remind him of the fact. 

But there is evidence more conclusive still in the huge, 

lofty rooms, with whitewashed walls all bare and punkahs 

' rhead, to say nothing of the whit- " ' «xi 

> — " Boys" as they are tenned, tho ine 

»em perilously near the limit of three-score years and ten 

-who, barefooted and silent, }>erform their duties with a 
willingness and promptitude difficult to extract from their 
smarter brethren in the West. 

5 



TIGER SLAYER BY ORDER 

I cannot now, after so many years, recall very clearly 
my own first impressions of the East, but as I make no 
claim to be original, have no doubt that they were something 
of the nature above described. What I do remember more 
vividly, however, is an excursion I made in company 
with several of my fellow passengers, to the Elephanta 
caves situated about five miles distant from Bombay among 
the group of islands which shelter the harbour. 

These ancient, rock-hewn caves, or rather temples, said 
to have been dedicated to the god Siva, are approached 
by a steep ascent for half a mile through rocks, trees and 
tropical plants of many kinds. 

Near the landing place is the life-size figure of an 
elephant, carved out of a solid rock, whence, probably, 
the caves derive their name. A long stairway, also cut 
out of living rock, leads to a temple in which are several 
figures of gigantic gods and goddesses, including a colossal 
bust of the three-faced god of Buddha. Another striking 
figure is that of the god Siva, one of the Hindu Trinity, 
on whose face severity and revenge, characteristic of his 
destroying attributes, are strongly depicted. 

One of the hands holds a large snake of the Cobra 
species, and the other certain fruit and flowers, symbolical 
of blessings for mankind. Though much defaced by the 
iconoclastic tendencies of the Mohammedans and Portu- 
guese, this wonderful temple still retains much of its 
original splendour. 

We also visited the famous " Towers of Silence," which 
stand in a large garden in the highest part of Malabar Hill, 
and are surrounded by a great quantity of trees swarming 
with vultures, who in their countless hundreds occupy 
every branch. The reason for the number and continual 
presence of these ill-omened birds is a gruesome one, for 
these Towers of Silence are used by the sect known as the 
Parsis for the disposal of their dead; the bodies, all 
uncoffined as they are, being laid out on the summit of 
the towers, purposely to be devoured by these birds. 

It is a curious, not to say revolting method of disposing 
of one's dead, but the process is simple and effective, for 
the bodies rest on a grating, thus as soon as the birds have 
stripped off the flesh, the bones fall through into a pit 
6 



PARSIS AND ANTELOPE 

below, whence they are removed by the relatives, through 
subterranean passages under the towers and cast into the 
sea. 

Curiously enough, however, the Parsis, except for this 

barbarous fashion of treating their defunct relations, are 

1 singularly civilized and intelligent race. Believed to be 

lescendants of the ancient Persians who migrated to India 

on the conquest of their country by the Arabs, they appear 

to have settled down in large numbers in Bombay, where 

they are frequently to be found filling important positions 

both under Government and in the conmiercial world. 

are mostly good scholars too, and almost invariably 

.^.,-.k several languages. 

In addition to their curious burial customs they have 
some others almost as unique as, for instance, the practice 
»>f benevolence, which being one of the great principles of 
their religion is carried to such an extent that a Parsi 
beggar is a thing unknown. Then again, they are Fire- 
Worshippers, and as such probably the only people in the 
world who do not smoke, as their intense reverence for 
this element debars them from using it for so trivial a 
purpose as the smoking of a hookah, pipe, or cigar. In 
fact, taking them all round, the Parsis would appear to be 
the most unique and interesting people of any that inhabit 
British India, as they are probably the most enlightened. 

After a stay of two or three days in Bombay, I prepared 
to set out on my journey to Guzerat, part of which was to 
be performed by train and the rest by road in bullock 
carts. This last is a mode of travel much disliked by 
Europeans as a rule, being slow and generally imcomfort- 
ible, but I was looking forward to it for I had learnt from 
mquirics I had made that the road passed through vast 
cultivated plains on which antelopes in hundreds were 
frequently to be seen. 

This discovery naturally roused my sporting instincts, 
but it had come so unexpectedly that it found me un- 
|>i< pared. For some reason unexplained — fimmcial, most 
l>r(»bably ! — neither a gun nor a ritle had been included in 
my outfit, and I had hitherto trusted to being able to beg, 
I"-- ■ ■• or steal one or the other from my father when we 

.7 

r 



''(■ 



TIGER SLAYER BY ORDER 

met, but this hope, justifiable though it afterwards proved, 
did not cover the present difficulty, viz., being without any 
weapon more deadly than a pen-knife with which to wage 
war on the antelope. 

I might, of course, have bought a gun or rifle at one of 
the European gun-smiths, but only for a price far greater 
than I could afford, so finally decided to try to pick up one 
in the bazar, where guns, of a sort, are occasionally to 
be found. 

Afraid of trusting so important a purchase to anybody 
else, I went myself to the bazar, and eventually succeeded 
in securing an old, single-barrel, muzzle-loading gun, for 
what seemed to me an absurdly low price. It was a risky 
investment though at best, for as a rule guns bought in 
a bazar are apt to be more dangerous to the user than to 
the animal he may fire at. However, this one was evidently 
of superior make, for though old it still bore traces of finer 
finish than is generally found in such guns purchased in 
bazars. 

The journey by rail was not a long one, nor of any 
interest — railway journeys in India seldom are, and, more- 
over, are generally uncomfortable, because of the heat 
and dust, though in one respect Indian railway travel is 
more luxurious than in Europe, and this is that every 
first and second-class passenger is entitled to full length 
sleeping accommodation at nights, which renders the long 
journeys, so often necessary, more tolerable than they 
otherwise would be. 



CHAPTER n 

A ioumov by bullock cart — Come ocroes antelope — A saooesBfnl stalk — 
ling my first trophy — Exhibiting mj' prize — Join the 19th Native 
I itrj' — A martinet C.O. — ^Life at Malegown — Hurdle races and a 
fall — A novel remedy — ^The station skikari and his wiles — Paying for 
exyjcrience — Beating for a phantom (Minther — Counterfeited foot- 
Min^s — The fraud detected — Flight of the culprit — Pursuit aad 
l>.:i!i>hment — A description of the offender — Experitntia docet — 
Unreliability of native inforr*. on — Lying to please — Other reasras 
for faL^e reports of game — Tatf and temper necessary to sooceas — 
Kewards for true information, money well laid out — How to acquire 
experience — A sad incident in our Station life — .Sk^'-larking end^ in a 
disaster — Going to a race meeting by rail — Walking along the foot- 
board — Approaching a bridge — Warned too late — C-annon«l oft into 
the river — Body subsequently recovered. 

It was early morning when I left the railway station, at 
which I had been deposited during the night, and started 
in my bullock cart on the journey by road. 

We had not gone very far when we came across vast 
herds of antelope. One small herd was feeding in a cotton- 
field some distance apart from all the rest, so this was the 
lot I elected to stalk. Working my way cautiously towards 
them, I gradually approached within range when, takinf;^ 
a long deliberate aim, I fired at what appeared to be the 
largest buck. 

The beast fell to the shot at once, and by the time I had 

run up to it, was dead. I was naturally much delighted, 

for this was the first shot I had ever fired at any four-l«^ged 

aninml larger than a rabbit, whereas this one, though only 

*' lope, was at any rate regarded as big game. 

I)uck was quite an ordinary one, but to me, as my 
lirht .sporting trophy, most preciotis, so much so in fact 
that I insisted on skinning it myself, after which pcrfomi- 
ance. very indifferently performetl I fear, we procecdcti 
on our way. 

9 



TIGER SLAYER BY ORDER 

The journey, much to my disappointment, was com- 
pleted without further adventure, and in due course we 
arrived at my father's bungalow, when I remember well, 
how, after the first greetings, I instantly produced my 
trophy, and with what pride I related how I had procured 
it, indeed had it been a tiger that I had slain I could have 
scarcely been prouder of the feat ! 

All sportsmen, probably, will understand my feelings 
for the first comparatively big thing shot by a novice has 
always a special value in his eyes, but looking back now, 
after thirty years, I feel ashamed to think that I should 
have made all this fuss about a wretched deer. 

After spending some time with my father at Guzerat, 
I went on to Malegown to join the 19th Native Infantry 
to which I was attached, for a course of drill, prior to taking 
up an appointment in the Indian Police for which service 
I had already obtained a nomination. 

The 19th was at that time commanded by a certain 

Colonel J , one of the good old school, who, though a 

martinet and somewhat given to exceedingly strong 
language on parade, was, nevertheless, very popular with 
the youngsters in the regiment. 

Our life at Malegown, a small, uninteresting station, 
was not very exciting, but weekly gymkhana meetings, 
to which friends from neighbouring stations were in- 
variably invited, helped to pass the time. Those sports 
usually consisted of cross-country racing, tent-pegging, 
tilting at the ring, etc. 

Having ridden from my childhood, I was naturally a 
good rider, and used consequently to pull off many of these 
events — the money prizes helping considerably to the pay- 
ing of my mess bills. In the hurdle races, I remember, 
the jumps were usually fairly stiff, and on one occasion 
came perilously near to ending my career. Fortunately, 
however, I escaped with only a good shaking, notwith- 
standing that the horse had rolled over me and that I was 
picked up unconscious and carried away in that condition 
from the course. A strong whisky and soda, as I learnt 
later, was the only remedy administered and apparently 
with marvellous results, for I came round at once, at least, 
so I was informed, for I was not in a position to know how 
10 



A PHANTOM PANTHER 

long I was unconscious. At any rate the cure was evidently 
complete for I have no recollection of feeling any the worse 
for the fall. 

Amongst the other " griffs ** * in the regiment were 
several as keen on sport as myself, but beyond small game 
— and an antelope occasionally — the sport we obtained 
was not on a very extensive scale. To the station shikari, 
however, we were the source of a good income, for taking 
advantage of our unquenchable desire to bag something 
really big, he was constantly arranging beats for various 
tigers and leopards, none of which had any real existence, 
nevertheless, the beaters had to be paid every time, and at 
a rate which allowed of a goodly sum being pocketed by 
the shikari. 

On one occasion I remember, he brought us news of a 
big panther, supposed to be in a jungle some thirty miles 
distant. This information being more than usually cir- 
cumstantial, several of us decided to go after the beast, 
fully convinced that we were at last to be recompensed for 
all the disappointments we had suffered. 

On arrival at the jungle we found some two hundred 
beaters assembled, and elaborate arrangements made for 
a beat. The guns being duly posted, the beaters were 
solemnly marshalled and went through the jungle to the 
music of tom-toms and other noise-producing instruments 
of various tones and power, making sufficient racket to 
rouse any animal within five miles of the place, but without 
any result, for there were none within that distance of the 
spot. We tried a second time, but with no better success ; 
finally we decided on following up what were stated to be 
the animal's tracks, but had not proceeded very far. when 
my orderly, who was something of a shikari himself, 
suddenly burst out laughing. " Look, sahib," he exclained, 
pointing to some foot -prints more perfect than the rest, 
" those tracks are made by hand ! " and sure enough they 
were, for looking at them closer, we now could sec they had 
been carefully prtparctl to represent the foot -prints of a 
large panther. 

The [shikari, finding him-self detected, bolted at once ; 
but furious at the trick he had played us, I ran after him, 

* Short for Qrifleo, — walng in An^o-Indian parUnoo a Novioe. 

11 



TIGER SLAYER BY ORDER 

thirsting for revenge. He knowing this and probably 
also guessing the form that it would take if he allowed 
himself to be caught, did his best to get away. It was a 
good race, for though I was younger, and probably faster, 
he had a good start, and, moreover, was not encumbered 
with a superfluity of clothing or boots. However, I 
caught him up at last, but my anger by this time having 
somewhat cooled down, I let him off quite lightly as 
compared with his offence. 

This was, I think, one of the worst disappointments I 
ever experienced in pursuit of sport, for it is seldom that 
a fraud is so deliberately manufactured. That native 
information is often unreliable is quite true ; but there is 
generally some foundation for it, such as a tiger or leopard 
having been heard or seen in the locality, or the skeleton 
or a few bones found of some domestic animal believed to 
have been killed. 

And yet from the general appearance and character of 
the offending shikari in question, no one would have 
supposed him capable of concocting a trick so well thought 
out and ingenious. A Mohammedan by caste, he was 
nevertheless addicted to strong waters, and when off 
duty was not infrequently seen drunk. In other respects, 
too, he was a low type of native distinctly more stupid 
than intelligent. In dress, too, as I have already hinted, 
he was not what might be called particular. A generally 
unclean turban and a string round his waist over which 
hung, fore and aft, a narrow strip of cotton cloth, plus a 
brown blanket, carried, not worn over his shoulder, was 
all that he had on in the way of a " suit," while a brass badge 
hung on his person described him as " Emamdeen, the 
station shikari." This badge of office being, in his esti- 
mation no doubt, the most important part of his attire, at 
any rate was the only evidence of civilization about him. 

After administering the well-deserved correction to this 
prince of deceivers, we wended our way homewards, sadder 
and wiser men than when we had set out on this adventure, 
and resolved to keep the matter to ourselves lest the ridicule 
of those who had refused to join the expedition should be 
added to our discomfiture. 

But we had counted without that extraordinary, 
12 



LYING TO PLEASE 

almost wireless-like tel^raphy by which news in India 
is so rapidly and mysteriously conveyed, for when on our 
return that night we went in to dinner we found that every 
member of the mess was in full possession of the facts. 
The chaff that we were consequently subjected to may 
therefore be imagined, though amongst there scoffers there 
was probably not one who would have detected the fraud 
any sooner than we did, for the counterfeited pugs, as I 
have said, had been exceedingly well done. 

For some time after this incident we devoted our leisure 
moments to the hunting of smaller and less important 
game, and any news of tiger or leopard kills brought in, 
unless absolutely verified or within a reasonable distance 
from the station, were left severely alone. 

This incident, however, was only another verification 
of that ancient Latin proverb Experieniia docet, which 
is nowhere better exemplified than when applied to Indian 
big-game shooting ; firstly, for the reason that the Aryan 
brother is not invariably truthful as to the information 
he brings in, not that his reports are always deliberately 
false, on the contrary there is generally some foundation 
for his story, but being always desirous of pleasing his 
sahib, he often goes out of his way to repeat not what has 
actually occurred, but what he thinks the latter would like 
to hear. Thus, if a leopard happens to have killed a dog 
in his village he will walk several miles into the station 
and report that a tiger has killed a bullock, simply because 
he knows that the sahib would sooner have news of a tiger 
than a leopard ! 

Or again, if the inhabitants of a village have any 
reason, however slight, for suspecting the presence of either 
of these dangerous animals in any adjacent jungle, they 
will generally dispatch one of their number, usually the 
village chokidar or watchman, to the nearest camp or 
station with a circumstantial report to the effect either 
that the animal has actually been seen or that it has taken 
up iis abode in :i crrl.iin juncrlc wliicli he- is rc.iilv fo tH>int 

Oill. 

lt>r making a |)ia(t icaily false report iikc tiiiN, howtvcr, 
there is usually an underlying reason, over and above the 
mere desire to please the sahib, for as it is assumed that the 

18 



TIGER SLAYER BY ORDER 

latter will take the bait at once, they know the result must 
be that the suspected jungle, or jungles, will be thoroughly 
beaten out by beaters, who, incidentally, will pocket two 
annas a piece, hence should the animal be there it will be 
either killed or driven off and thus relieve the villagers of 
its presence, or if the beat should prove a blank, set their 
minds at rest by thus proving that no dangerous animal 
is there. 

Such then are some of the traps into which the embryonic 
Indian sportsman, unfamiliar with India and her people, is 
likely to fall and generally does, until personal experiences 
such as the one I have described have taught him to estimate 
the proper value of any information he receives before 
deciding to act on it. But even if after he has done this 
he goes out to the spot only to find that the information 
was false or grossly exaggerated, he must be very careful 
to resist the temptation — often a very strong one — ^to deal 
harshly with the informant, for it must be remembered 
that in the pursuit of big game, especially leopards and 
tigers, everything depends on the receipt of prompt in- 
formation of " kills," and as these are usually of village 
cattle, it is the villagers only who can supply this informa- 
tion. 

Hence it is obviously necessary for the sportsman to 
cultivate friendly relationships with these men and to gain 
their confidence, which can best be done by kind treatment, 
generally and by always rewarding liberally any individual 
who brings in accurate information. 

Money thus expended will in the end be found to have 
been well spent, for in India, as I have said before, news is 
rapidly transmitted, thus the name of a sahib who pays 
rewards will soon be spread abroad, and men will travel 
many miles to bring him information of a kill or other 
evidence of a tiger or leopard's presence, of which he could 
not otherwise have heard. 

Nor would he be necessarily out of pocket in paying 
for this information, as there is a Government reward for 
the destruction of such animals which he can claim by 
producing the head and skin. The sums vary in amount 
in different provinces, but are always on a fairly liberal 
scale, hence amply sufficient for the informer who is usually 
14 



A SAD ACCIDENT 

an indigent individual to whom even a couple of rupees will 
spell riches, and five almost a fortune, 

«»*«*♦ 
I remained for some months with the regiment at Male- 
gown, learning my drill and incidentally acquiring consider- 
able experience of jungle life and sport, for amongst the senior 
officers were one or two old shikaris as willing to relate 
their adventures and experiences as I was to hear of them, 
and in this way picked up much valuable information, 
which in after years stood me in good stead. So that on 
the whole, life at this little station, if not very exciting, 
was at any rate instructive and decidedly enjoyable. On 
one occasion, however, a gloom was cast over our small 
community by the death of one of our young officers under 
circumstances so sad that it made a great impression on 
us all. He and a midshipman, on leave from a man-of- 
war lying in Bombay harbour, were travelling to Ahmcda- 
bad for the race-week by train, and on the journey, wishing 
to join some friends, who were in another carriage, they 
got out on to the footboard and were walking along it 
when the midshipman, who was in front, saw that they 
wtit; approaching a bridge. He called out to warn his 
companion, meanwhile flattening himself up against the 
door. The other attempted to do the same, but being a 
much bigger nuin, and possibly less agile, was cannoned off 
and fell into the river below, whence his body was subse- 
quently recovered. 



15 



CHAPTER III 

Leave Malegown for Khandesh — Appointed Assistant Political Agent and 
Adjutant Bhil Police Corps — My chief, a fine old sportsman — Air-guns 
dangerous at times — A marvellous performance— Some reminiscences 
of my early youth — An accommodating tutor — Questionable justice 
— My headquarters in Khandesh — A palatial residence — Description 
of my duties — A banyan tree tribunal — Some accounts of the Bhik, 
their belief in witchcraft — Omens and superstitions, love of sport — 
Legend of their origin — Life in the station — Christmas camps — 
Running amok — A thrilling experience — Shooting a Havildar — My 
first tiger, a description of the beat — Rejoicings in camp — An unselfish 
sportsman — Efficiency of a "500 Rigby Express rifle — The best weapon 
in those days for tigers — Diversity of opinion as to rifles — Various 
weapons or projectiles used bj"^ weU-knoAvn sportsmen — To be judged 
by results — Best rifles for soft-skinned and heavy game, described in 
next chapter. 

Having completed my course of drill, I left Malegown, 
parting from my companions in the regiment with much 
regret and joined my appointment in Khandesh, to which 
district I had been posted as Assistant Superintendent of 
Police and Adjutant of the Bhil Corps, under that fine old 
sportsman Colonel Oliver Probyn, C.I.E., to whom in grate- 
ful remembrance for many kindnesses received, I have 
devoted a special chapter. 

Some time before I became acquainted with him he 
had had the misfortune to lose his right arm and two fingers 
of his left hand through the bursting of an air-gun, yet 
notwithstanding being thus handicapped, he still remained 
the splendid shot and rider that he had always been. 

Strangely enough, though, he had despaired of ever 
handling a rifle again, and it was merely through a friend 
at a picnic casually challenging him to shoot at an empty 
bottle that led to his taking to his shooting again. 

It appears that when handed the rifle by his friend, 
instead of firing at the bottle, he, doubtless preferring a 
16 



A NEW USE FOR A TUTOR 

living target, aimed at a small bird perched on a tree a long 
way off, and, to the amazement of those present, brought 
it down. It was a marvellous performance, and as a first 
attempt at rifle-shooting with one hand, probably un- 
surpassed ; hence, it is not surprising that, with the self- 
confidence born of this extraordinary feat, he should 
eventually have gained the reputation of being one of the 
finest shots and tiger-hunters India has known. 

This reference to air-guns reminds me of a youthful 
< xperience of ray own in connection with one of these 
weapons. The event, however, had no such tragic ending 
as the one described, though it terminated somewhat un- 
pleasantly to the one principally concerned, viz., a French 
tutor, who, for his sins, perhaps, was occupying the 
unenviable position of bear-leader and instructor to my 
brother and myself. He was, however, a most good- 
natured individual, and taking advantage of his disposition 

f persuaded him to procure for us an air-gim or air-cane, 
iv:> these dangerous weapons were then called. Fortunately 
for him, however, the one he had obtained for us was not 

•ry powerful, for we had no sooner mastered the 

f ricacies of the weapon, than, taking further advantage 

: his amiability, we started our shooting by making use 
ot his person as a target. 

This went on for sonu lime much to our edification, 
though — so far as I remember — not without some feeble 
• Totests from our victimised preceptor. At length one 

ly we were caught in the act by the two old maiden 
ladies who had had the misfortune to be constituted our 
guardians until such time as we should be too old for 

ininine control, which period, however, judging from our 

.ploits, had seemingly arrived already. 

These two old dames, possibly under the impression 

shots were fired in anger, instaid of as a pastime, 

lilied beyond measure; but with commendable 

promptitude and courage, immediately disarmed us, 

H^Mifiscating the weapon. 

^y Much as we resented these arbitrary- proceedings at the 
ni we came in time to realize that they had probably 

b( ' ssary, for we were wise enough to know that tutors 

were not intended to be made use of as targets, therefore. 

c 17 



TIGER SLAYER BY ORDER 

having so misused him, the confiscation of the offending 
weapon seemed to us quite a natural precautionary measure. 

But what we failed to understand, either at the time or 
later, was the subsequent action of the " authorities " 
with reference to our luckless tutor, who, doubtless much 
to his amazement, too, was summarily dismissed ! This 
to our budding notions of justice and fair dealing seemed 
altogether wrong, for — as we well knew — he had not 
participated in the pastime of his own free will, nor had it 
afforded him amusement, on the contrary, for the part 
he had played was scarcely an amusing one. 

But to return to events more modern. My head- 
quarters in the Khandesh district were at Dhurumgoan, 
where I lived in the palatial mansion built by Outram of 
Indian Mutiny fame. It was naturally much too large 
for me, indeed some idea of its size may be gathered from 
the fact that it is now a cotton factory ! Fortunately, 
in India, bachelors are not expected to furnish their abodes 
on a European scale. 

My duties were not of a very onerous description, my 
time being chiefly occupied in studying native languages, and 
preparing for Departmental Examinations. Nor was there 
much of office work in those days. Many a land or other 
dispute, which would now run to reams of paper and many 
months' delay, were then settled under the village banyan 
tree by Colonel Probyn, who, in his capacity of Bhil Agent, 
adjusted quarrels too, and released many a hard-pressed 
debtor from the clutches of the exacting money-lender. 
Indeed in the year 1870 the pressure of Gujar * money- 
lenders in the Western District, aroused so much ill-feeling 
that but for Colonel Probyn's intervention and his great 
personal influence, a general rising of the Bhils would 
undoubtedly have taken place. 

As a great portion of my Indian life was passed amongst 
these people, and consequently many of the adventures I 
am about to relate are connected with them, a short 
account of this tribe may prove of interest. 

Though found in small numbers in every part of Khan- 
desh, the bulk of the Bhil population inhabit the western, 

* Generally capitalists and landholders in North-west Khandesh. 
18 



I 



THE BHILS OF KHANDESH 

and wilder portion of the district. They are quite distinct 
from any other race in India, and are the true aborigines 
of their country. The typical Khandesh Bhil, the wild 
woodsman of the Satpuda mountains, is a dark, well-made, 
active and hardy individual, with high cheek-bones, wide 
nostrils, and almost African in feature. His dialect is a 
mixture of Hindustani and Marathi with Guzeratti ter- 
minations. 

Strong believers in witchcraft, they have " Barvas," 
or hereditary sorcerers, whom they consult on all occasions, 
particularly when planning some plundering raid, and whose 
advice they invariably follow. Great attention is paid to 
omens, as, for instance, if a bird screams on the left, or a 
fox or snake crosses the path and escapes, there will be 
no success that day. On the other hand, should a bird 
call on the right or a dead snake be seen, the enterprise 
will end successfully. 

In character they are thriftless, addicted to drinking 
spirits, and as a rule averse to steady work, but on the whole 
the Bhils as a people are simple, honest and faithful, and 
above all, excellent sportsmen, their love of jungle life and 
skill as shikaris being evidently inherent, for in all my long 
xperience of them I never met a Bhil who was not possessed 
of all the qualities which contribute to the making of a good 
shikari, and as to their honesty, I can say with absolute 
truth that during the many years I passed amongst them 

I never missed the value of so much as a rupee. 

The Hindu legend of their origin is that of an union of 

I I " Alivhadoo with a beautiful woman, name apparently 
1 1. The result of this union was several sons, 

luongst them one ill-favoured and vicious, whose sins 
ulniinated in killing his father's favourite bull. For this 
ffonce he was banished an outcast to the hills and there 
tie the founder of the Bhils. The word Bhil being 
.\cd, as is supposed, from the r)rH\i(li:ni " I^illi." moan- 
ing a bow. 

It was not \mtil I was r] j < i; t(d to •- i>iiver 

byn as Bhil Agent and Tii:: >liyer to Gt ^ nt, as 

will t>e referreti to later, that 1 lairnt more of these very 
interesting people, a further description of whom and of 
luy duties in the above dual capacities will be given later. 

19 



^^o\ 



TIGER SLAYER BY ORDER 

Meanwhile, as Assistant Superintendent of Police and 
Adjutant of the Bhil Corps, my life was enjoyable enough. 
We were but a small community it is true, but frequently 
visited the neighbouring stations for race meetings, in 
fact on any plausible excuse — besides we had many pleasant 
shooting camps ourselves and especially at Christmas time 
when, as is the case all over India, such camps are regular 
institutions and usually of a very festive order ; except at 
large stations where instead of shooting camps these 
Christmas gatherings usually take the form of race 
meetings or gymkhanas at headquarters. 

The quasi-military portion of my duties was on the 
whole fairly monotonous, but on one occasion we had an 
exceedingly exciting experience with a Naik or corporal of 
the Bhil Corps. 

This enterprising individual, electing to run amok one 
morning when Probyn and I were on parade, shot his 
Havildar dead, then loosed off into a squad of recruits at 
drill, wounding one severely. 

Happening to be quite close to him at the time, I ran 
up and disarmed him, narrowly escaping a shot he fired 
at me, the bullet hitting the ground at my feet. The fact 
of my being in rapid motion at the time probably saved 
my life, for the man was evidently a good shot, as proved 
by his practice on the Havildar. 

With the exception of this exciting little incident, the 
only other shooting adventure worth recording that I 
experienced during these early years of my service while 
stationed in Khandesh, was one which no true sportsman 
would be likely to forget, since it was no less important an 
event than the bagging of my first tiger. 

Although it is now nearly thirty years since this red-letter 
day in my life, I can still recall quite vividly those few 
exciting moments of that day when, perched on the branches 
of a tree — my rifle ready for instant use — I waited with 
bated breath for the animal to appear, and when it came 
out at last, the first tiger I had ever seen in its wild state, 
how anxiously I watched its every movement, wondering 
at its enormous muscular developments, extraordinary 
girth of limbs, especially noticeable in the forearm and 
wrist, its beautiful white beard and bristling whiskers, all 
20 



CLEVER SHIKAR TACTICS 

so different to the long, lithe, skinny animals on which I 
had often gazed with sueh longing admiration in the Zoo ! 
It was a grand and yet an awe-inspiring sight, for there is 
something in the personality of a tiger which fills the mind 
^vith thoughts sueh as no other wild animal inspires. With 
I he sportsman, suitably armed and bent on the destruction 
of the beast, this feeling is not one of fear, but rather of 
respect, as for a foe whom he knows instinctively will 
require all his skill to beat. 

But what perhaps interested me as much as the tiger 
itself was the way in which, under the directions of my 
chief, the beat had been arranged. For while the main 
l)ody of the beaters were advancing through the jungle, 
(others had been posted up in trees, at twenty or thirty 
puces' interval, as stops to prevent the ammal sneaking 
off unobserved, up some smaller pathway or ravine instead 
of passing by my post. These tactics were admirably 

irried out for, as already mentioned, there are no better 
>iiikaris in India than the Bhils, or any who can compete 
with them in the art of driving the quarry in the direction 
required. 

Thus, each time the tiger had attempted to turn off to 
right or left, the stop posted nearest to the spot had suc- 
' ceded in preventing it, either by tapping lightly with his 

I ick upon a branch, or by giving a low cough — these sounds, 

light as they were, being quite sufficient for the animal's 
keen sense of hearing to detect. 

Finally he was driven up to within a hundred yards 
of my mfichan and then, objecting to any further hustling, 
came charging past my post at racing speed. Waiting 
I ill I thought I had made certain of my shot, I fired, but, 
^<cmingly, without effect, for the beast held on with 

iidiminished speed, covering with each bound some 
ijflecn feet at lexist. Continuing at this pace for about 
live and twenty yards, he suddenly collapsed, falling into 
some brushwood, where we found him later lying on his 
side — stone dead. 

There was great rejoicing in the camp that night, and 
to celebrate the occasion Probyn insisted on my drinkng 
the major jK)rtion of a bottle of champagne, for was not 
this my first tiger, and killed with one shot too ? But, 

21 



TIGER SLAYER BY ORDER 

strictly speaking, the triumph should have been his, for 
we had drawn for places and though he got the best naka,* 
he had given it up to me. However, good sportsman that 
he was, he could not have been more pleased if he had shot 
the beast himself. 

I may mention that I had not on this occasion used the 
single barrel gas-pipe of which mention has been made, 
but a "500 Express by Rigby, taking 6 drams of powder 
and bullet of pure lead. This is probably, or rather was 
in those days, the best kind of rifle for use against a tiger, 
or any of the larger soft-skinned animals, but, as there 
seems to be such diversity of opinion on the subject, I propose 
in the next chapter to give a description of the various 
weapons and projectiles used by well-known sportsmen 
and myself on different kinds of game, and with what 
result, so that the reader may judge for himself not only 
as to the rifle best suited for tigers, but for most heavy 
game as well. 

* Position or post. 



22 



CHAPTER IV 

ome talk about rifles for big game — EflSciency of small boree doubtful — 
SelouH on this subject — Knowledge of anatomy an important factor 
— A quotation from Sanderson — An advocate for heavy weapons — 
Rifles recommended — Sir Samuel Baker's opinion on experiments I 
have made — Various projectiles used, with results — Some rifles I have 
used — Apology for digression, narrative resumed — The district of 
Khandesh described — How the Bhils were civilized — ^The neceesity 
for a local and special officer — His duties — Experience, how gained — 
The origin of the office of Tiger Slayer — Cattle and human beings 
destroyed by tigers — Khandesh s stronghold of wild beasts — Speoial 
body of hunters from Bhil Corps — Government elephants — ^Usdul to 
shoot off, or as beaters. 

The question as to which is the rifle best suited for big 
and dangerous game is a somewhat controversial one, and 
I am aware, while recording my opinion, that I differ from 
many great authorities on this subject ; but ever>' sports- 
man who has actually experimented with rifles of various 
|)atterns, on big game must necessarily be guided by the 
results he has obtained and naturally favours the weapon 
which he has found most successful. 

Personally, I am no believer in small bores in the hands 
of ordinary sportsmen, they lack the smashing power and 
paralyzing effect of the heavy bores. I propose, later on, 
illustrating the tnith of this theory by anecdotes, and as 
I have on more than one occasion been in a tight corner, 
and was once severely mauled by a tiger, the marks of 
whose teeth and claws I bear to this day, I trust my ob- 
ervations will act as a warning to young sportsmen against 
I ashly entrusting themselves to light and so-called " handy '* 
weapons when in pursuit of dangerous game. 

Selous, the great African hunter, advocates small bores, 
but it should be remembered that that celebrated sports- 
man, with his intimate knowledge of anatomy and life- 
experience of big-game shooting, knows how and where to 

S8 



TIGER SLAYER BY ORDER 

strike the game in a vital spot. This is exempHfied by his 
having on one occasion shot five elephants in succession 
with a -450 Gibbs Metford, an extraordinarily small bore 
rifle to use against such very heavy game. 

I have myself killed several bison and buffalo with 
small bore rifles too, on one occasion with a "360 Express, 
but these were all picked shots. It is not, however, always 
possible to obtain a head or shoulder shot, therefore the 
rifle for such exceedingly heavy game should be one 
powerful enough to kill, or at any rate to stop such an 
animal on whatever part of the body it may be hit. 

Then, again, to quote that well-known sportsman, the 
late Mr. Sanderson : " It is sometimes argued," he writes, 
" that hundreds of large animals have been bagged with 
12 or 14-bore rifles or even smaller weapons. True, but 
how many more have escaped or have been consigned to 
die lingering deaths that could have been secured with 
heavier metal ! A 14 or 16 -bore with 4 drams of powder, 
is sufficient to kill even an elephant, if a fair shot can be 
had at his brain, but supposing the elephant to be rushing 
through a tangled brake of long grass, when only a hurried 
and indistinct shot can be had at him, the smaller gun 
would be useless unless its ball reached his brain, whilst 
the heavy projectile would floor or stun, even if it did not 
kill him. A rifle for heavy game should be capable of 
meeting these contingencies, not being adapted only for 
picked shots and bright moments." 

For ordinary sportsmen, therefore, I think there is no 
better weapon for thick-skinned animals such as elephants, 
rhino, buffaloes and bison than an 8 or 10-bore Paradox 
gun or rifle, burning 8 or 10 drams of powder. I prefer a 
Paradox gun as it is lighter than a rifle of the same calibre, 
a great advantage in African hunting of which so much is 
done from the saddle. It also gives a higher velocity 
and greater penetration with the same charge of powder, 
and the recoil is less. For soft -bodied or thin-skinned 
animals such as tigers, lions, leopards and bears a '500 
or -577 Express, burning 5 or 6 drams of powder, would be 
the most suitable weapon. 

Having now said my say about rifles, I will add a few 
lines about the quality of the projectiles, which, in my 
24 



BEST BULLETS FOR BIG GAME 

opinion, are the best suited for big or dangerous game. 
The late Sir Samuel Baker, in his most interesting book, 
" Wild Beasts and their Ways," states : " The duty of the 
bullet is to preserve its direct course ; it should possess a 
power of great penetration, should not be easily deflected, 
and together with penetrating power, it should produce 
stunning effect by an overpowering and striking energy.*' 
I have experimented with all kinds of bullets on Indian 
lid African game, and have come to the conclusion that for 
lephants, buffaloes, rhino, and bison, the solid hardened 
"V steel core conical bullet, 150 grains, is the best. This 
bullet has an enormous penetrating power and is capable 
of crashing through every opposing obstacle such as 
massive bone and nmscle, a matter of great importance 
should the beast be charging, or rushing through high 
;i;rass or bush, when only a hurried and indistinct shot can 
be had at him. For tigers, lions, panthers, bears and the 
larger Indian or African deer or antelope respectively, I 
think the long Rigby or Holland bullet, 570 grains of pure 
lead, with a small hollow and a heavy, solid base to ensure 
neccssarj' penetration and expansion is the best. 

A bullet of this description on striking an animal will 
not splinter up, but assume a mushroom shape, also it is 
lujt easily deflected. The small, light bullet invariably 
used with Express rifles, though admirable for small 
iitciopes such as black buck, chinkara, etc., is, in my 
i»iiiion, too hollow, consequently too light for dangerous 
I me. It smashes up into minute fragments immediately 
■II impact, merely inflicting a surface wound, and is, more- 
over, easily deflected on striking a twig or any other 
ohstniction. 

I have invariably used 10 or 8-bore rifles against ele- 
pliants, buffaloes, rhino, and bison, and a '500 Rigby Express 
't tigers, lions, leopards, etc., each with the projectile 
I ready described, though, at a pinch I have never hcsi- 
latetl to use my '500 Express against heavier game — 
< lepliants and buffalo — using, of course, a solid bullet. This 
I ifle was originally built by Rigby for a well-known sports- 
Mian in Madras,and has been my companion for over twenty- 
^ix years. With it I have shot all kinds of game both 
irgc and small. 

25 



TIGER SLAYER BY ORDER 

I have had no experience with cordite rifles, but I 
believe they require very careful treatment which would 
be a serious drawback in wild country where weapons are 
often subjected to very severe usage. Nevertheless, these 
rifles, as with all things new, are probably being largely 
used by the modern big-game hunter, and, for all I know, 
may possibly be superior — bore for bore — to those I have 
described ; but if so, they must be extraordinarily efficient 
weapons of destruction. 

****** 

I will now resume my narrative, which, I fear, I have 
too long neglected, and I ought perhaps also to apologize 
for this long digression, because, except to sporting readers, 
the preceding pages of this chapter must necessarily make 
dull reading ; but I have always held that a work which 
purports to be a book on sport should be instructive as 
well as entertaining, if only for the reason that it is as 
likely to be read by budding sportsmen thirsting for know- 
ledge as by those who have passed their lives in the pursuit 
of big game. 

Not that I am suggesting that the knowledge derived 
from my own experiences of big-game shooting can compare 
with those of such past masters in the art as the two great 
sporting writers whom I have quoted, for such is very far 
from my intention. At the same time, I may say, without 
fear of contradiction, that I have had exceptional advan- 
tages, in the matter of opportunities for Judging of the 
merits of sporting weapons of all kinds and of studying 
the habits of most wild animals which come under the 
definition of big game. 

I was also specially fortunate in having as my mentor 
for some years that prince of sportsmen. Colonel Probyn, 
under whom, as I have already stated, I served during the 
earlier period of my Indian career, and whom I eventually 
succeeded in his dual appointment of Bhil Agent and Tiger 
Slayer, when, having reached the age of fifty-five, he was 
obliged by the rules of the Service, to retire. 

One of his last official acts before retiring was to pass 
a strong recommendation to the Government that I should 
be appointed to succeed him, and thus, despite my youth 
and comparative inexperience, obtained for me the 
26 



THE BHIL AGENT AND HIS DUTIES 

much-coveted and, from my point of view, most interesting 
appointment in the Service. 

The District of Khandesh, at the time of which I write, 
was a wild tract of country some 15,000 square miles in 
area, bordered on the north by the Satpuda range, a 
mountain tract from thirty to forty miles wide, teeming 
with wild animals, especially tigers and panthers, and 
peopled by a once savage race of men, the Bhils, whom 
Government gradually weaned from savagery by the wise 
policy of free grants of land, seed and cattle, which induced 
them to settle down as cultivators. Since the beginning 
of British rule these people had always given trouble, and 
an attempt to bring them to order by force having failed, 
the above measures were adopted, in addition to enlisting 
them in special corps. The inherent lawless spirit of these 
wild men, however, necessitated the constant presence of 
a British ofhcer amongst them, hence the appointment of a 
Bhil Agent, whose duties were heavy and varied, e.g., such 
gangs as were still in revolt had to be reduced and kept in 
order, offenders punished or committed for trial, disputes 
to be settled and complaints redressed, saving them from 
the clever and unscrupulous money-lenders, the Gujars, 
(jf whom mention has already been made, etc., etc., 

I was very fortunate in being selected for the appoint- 

icnt of Agent, as the wandering life amongst the hiU men 

suited me to perfection, and gave me many opportunities 

of acquiring a knowledge of their feelings and customs 

hich often proved of immense value in my official duties, 

vhilc as to jungle-lore and wood-craft, the information 

I derived from them was both in quantity and quality 

such as it would be impossible to obtain from any other 

source, for living as these men do in close companionship, 

) to speak, with the animal denizens of the jungle, the 

knowle<lgc they possess of wild beasts and their ways, is 

naturally much greater than that of any other natives 

I have met. 

But if the information and experience I had thus ac- 
quired were of such value to me in the discharge of my Bhil 
Agency duties, they wew of infinitely greater vahie in my 
capacity of Tiger Slayer, as was only natural since the know- 
ledge I had gained enabled me in time to supervise eflBciently 

87 



TIGER SLAYER BY ORDER 

the work of my shikaris and even, when the necessity arose, 
as it sometimes did, to track and locate a tiger myself, or 
tell by a glance at its pugs whether they were fresh or some 
hours old, accomplishments which, though most useful to 
the hunters of big game, few Europeans take the trouble 
to acquire. 

To me, however, all the details of my work as Tiger 
Slayer had an extraordinary fascination, and, next to my 
old chief through whose influence I had obtained it, I often 
found myself blessing the individual who had created this 
appointment. 

The post — probably the only one of its kind in all India 
— was held, as I have already mentioned, in conjunction with 
that of Bhil Agent, and as far as I could gather from 
inquiries and perusal of old records, had been originally 
created to meet a pressing necessity due to the increase of 
wild animals in the District. In those disturbed times at 
the beginning of the last century, large tracts of land in 
Khandesh passed from villages into forest from which 
tigers roamed and dealt destruction in the very heart of 
the District. In 1822, for example, five hundred human 
beings and twenty thousand head of cattle were destroyed 
by wild animals, tigers being the principal destroyers. 
This wholesale destruction of human beings and cattle, 
which had apparently been going on for some time, led to 
some stringent preventive measures being adopted, for 
I found that during the months of May, June and July of 
that year, no less than sixty tigers were killed. 

In spite of these efforts, which were apparently made by 
Sir James Outram and his successors, tigers and other 
beasts of prey continued in such large numbers that the 
fear of them kept waste and desolate some of the richest 
tracts in Khandesh. Even as late as 1857 this District, 
more than almost any part of Western India, continued 
as a stronghold for wild beasts. Indeed, so dangerous and 
destructive had they become, that at length a special 
party of the Bhil Corps were especially deputed as tiger 
hunters and placed at the disposal of the then Super- 
intendent of Police and Bhil Agent for the destruction of 
these animals. 

When I took up the appointment this special party 
28 



OFFICIAL SKIKARIS 

consisted of forty men of the Bhil Corps, to which were 
attached two Government elephants, to be used to shoot 
off or as beaters. In addition to this official staff, I had 
my own shikaris, four excellent individuals to whom I 
owed a great deal of my success and are therefore entitled 
to be honourably mentioned. A description of them, 
therefore, will be found in the next chapter. 



S9 



CHAPTER V 

A description of my shikaris — A reliable quartette — ^The wild man of the 
woods — A true Aborigine — My first introduction to him — The palaver 
— Brother Shikaris — Become the best of friends — His progress in life 
— The tiger, and how to get him — The best season for tiger-shooting 
— Baiting the jungles — Looking up the baits — Tracking by foot- 
prints — Stops on trees — The drive — Monkeys and peacocks as guides 
— Random shooting to be avoided — Following up a wounded tiger — 
Dangerous but necessary — Precautions to be taken — The art of track- 
ing — How to be acquired — Difficult at first — Hyena or panther — How 
a tiger can be distinguished from a tigress — An adventure on the 
Satpuda hills — A tigress and her cubs — Arranging the beat — The 
tigress viewed — A beater charged — Seelis refuge in a tree — Seized by 
the leg — I go to the rescue — The wounded man sent into camp — 
Tigress takes cover — Refuses to come out — ^We attack her in her 
stronghold — A furious charge and subsequent retreat — Darkness sets 
in — We leave her for the night. 

The names of the four shikaris referred to were Etoo, 
Gungdya, Bapu and Sabha, and a pluckier or more 
reliable quartette would be difficult to find. Etoo was a 
Havildar, or Sergeant, in the Bhil Corps. He belonged to 
a family of shikaris, and his father before him had been 
Probyn's favourite gun-carrier in the days of muzzle 
loaders. His son, Gungdya, a chip of the old block, was 
also a private in the corps, a quiet unassuming man, but 
cool and self-possessed withal. He was also an excellent 
shot. 

Bapu, a real wild man of the woods, I picked up one 
day in rather a curious fashion when shooting in the 
Barwanee jungles of H.H. the Holkar. A true aborigine, 
he had literally lived all his life amongst wild beasts, and 
possessed the most extraordinary knowledge of their habits. 
As a tracker he was unequalled. It was about Christmas 
time in 1888 that I first met him. I was out one evening 
in the hills looking for sambar, when I saw in the dense 
jungle below me what at first appeared to be a bear. 
30 



A WILD MAN OF THE WOODS 

Closer examination with my glasses, however, revealed to 
me a nude savage, who, armed with a rude bow some six 
feet long, was crawling on his hands and knees, evidently 
stalking a bakri — jungle sheep. 

I sent my men to fetch him, and after a deal of palaver, 
he came dragging the little antelope which he had success- 
fully stalked. Patting him on the shoulder, and telling 
him that we were brother shikaris, I induced him to 
accompany me to my tents where I gave him some food, 
and we were soon the best of friends. 

Bapu subsequently became much attached to me, 
professing to have great faith in my prowess as a shikari. 
Before leaving the province I enlisted him in the Bhil 
Corps, which I eventually conunanded, and I heard later 
that he had by his good conduct risen to the rank of 
Havildar. 

Sabha first joined my service as a dog boy, but seeing 
his keenness for sport, I enrolled him as a shikari, much to 
his delight. He and Gungdya were always my greatest 
allies, and both aftersvards accompanied me on a shooting 
expedition to East Africa, of which an account ^ill be 
fr'wen later. 

WTiile on the subject of shikaris, it will not, I tnist, be 
.nsidered out of place to give some description of tiger 
shooting and of the various methods employed for cir- 
cumventing these wily animals, by no means an easy task, 
as every sportsman who has had any experience of this 
sport will readily admit. 

These methods necessarily vary according to the nature 

r the country, the kind of jungle to be beaten, the season 

t the year, any known peculiarities of the particular 

animal being hunted, etc., etc., but the following remarks, 

\\ hich may be applied to panthers also, will give a general 

idea. 

The best season for shooting tigers is during the hottest 
months of the year — March, April, May — when the jungles 
are burnt and the scarcity of water drives all game to the 
itmnediate proximity of the rivers and pools, etc. 

I have always held that baiting the country, as described 
l>elow, brings more game to bag than any other plan, though 

81 



TIGER SLAYER BY ORDER 

it should be remembered that both tigers and panthers 
will often refuse to kill a tied -up bullock, especially in 
jungles where game such as deer or hog are anything like 
plentiful ; but these are idiosyncrasies which have to be 
ignored. 

The presence of a tiger having been ascertained by 
its fresh footprints, etc., some young buffaloes should be 
procured and tied up early in the afternoon at the most 
likely places, such as meeting of paths or ravines, and near 
pools of water if there happen to be any. 

Towards eight or nine o'clock, when the sun is powerful, 
the baits should be examined, and if one has been killed, 
the sportsman with one or two good trackers, should quietly 
approach the spot and endeavour to find out where the 
tiger's or leopard's pugs or tracks lead to. Should they 
lead into a thick covert or rocks where the animal is supposed 
to have lain up, the ground for some distance round should 
be carefully examined, and, if no footprints are found 
leading out, men must be silently posted on trees, at twenty 
or thirty paces' interval, as stops to prevent the game 
from slipping away unobserved up one of the smaller side 
ravines or paths leading to the covert. This is a most 
necessary precaution, and the carrying out of it should 
therefore be personally supervised by the sportsman as 
on the way these stops are placed may depend the success 
or failure of the beat, for tigers, if not disturbed, will remain 
near their kill for two or three days, sometimes even longer 
(it all depends on the size of the animal killed), hence if 
well ringed round will probably be bagged. A gorged 
tiger is easy to beat out as he is lazy and slow in his move- 
ments. 

The guns must now be placed so as to command any 
pass or passes leading to the cover for which the tiger is 
likely to make when started, and the beaters will then 
commence to beat the jungle at some distance from the 
spot where they know or believe the tiger to be lying up, 
for if roused suddenly it may, if not too gorged with meat, 
rush too quickly past the guns to allow of a sure shot. 

In driving a ravine, it should be remembered that a 
tiger will, almost invariably, come along the bank in 
preference to down the bed. If during the drive any 
32 



HINTS ON TIGER SHOOTING 

monke5''s or peacocks are heard giving their peculiar cry 
of alarm, it may be safely assumed that there is a tiger 
or panther in the beat. 

Assuming that the drive has been properly managed, 
I here should be no difficulty in bagging the tiger, for it 
is a large mark to fire at and %vill probably come along at 
a jog trot or slow walk. Care should however be taken not 
to fire at it too hurriedly and certainly not until it is well 
opposite the post (tree or ledge of rock) so as to make a 
certainty of him. 

If the sportsman fires too excitedly or too soon he will 
j)r()bably miss or, worse still, merely wound the animal, 
which would then most likely break back on to the beaters, 
who, it must be remembered, are usually only armed with 
sticks, striking down any so unfortunate as to be in its 
way, and possibly inflicting fatal injuries. Hence in tiger 
himting random shooting should never be indulged in ; 
on the contrary, every shot fired must be well considered 
;ind intended to strike a vital spot. 

Should the tiger unfortunately get away wounded, it 
must be followed at all costs, though not necessarily at 
once. And it is here that the value of an elephant comes 
in, for it is obviously safer for the sportsman to follow 
mounted on an elephant than on foot. Nevertheless, I 
maintain that the absence of an elephant is no excuse for 
abandoning the pursuit, though I have often heard it said 
that to follow a wounded tiger on foot is what no sane 
sportsman should do. 

I have no wish to take up a hostile attitude in this 

•natter, nor do I pretend to the possession of a courage 

icaler than that required of any ordinary sportsman, 

iMit I do not consider any man should wage war with 

savage beasts unless he is prepared to take some sjwrting 

isks, and it is not a very sportsmanlike proceeding to leave 

wounded animal in the jungle — perhaps to die a lingering 

ii-ath — no matter whether the beast is a tiger or a hare I 

Moreover, I maintain that if proper precautions be 
observed, a wounded tiger may be followed up on foot 
without excessive risk. In the first place it should be given 
t ime to bleed to death or for its wounds to stiffen so as to 
render the animal less effective. Then, before advancing, 

D 98 



TIGER SLAYER BY ORDER 

the direction the beast has taken must be definitely as- 
certained by examining each footprint, and looking for 
the faintest speck of blood on fallen leaves and bushes 
against which it may have brushed. Any thick cover, 
too, from which the animal might make a sudden onslaught 
should be very carefully approached, with the rifle not 
only at full cock, but held ready for instant use, and 
lastly, the sportsman should be accompanied by some men 
who may be relied on to stand firm ; for even a wounded 
tiger will seldom make good its charge if boldly faced. 

I would therefore impress on all young sportsmen 
desirous of becoming successful big-game hunters, the 
necessity of invariably following up and killing any animal 
they have wounded, not only because by doing so they put 
the poor beast out of pain, and incidentally secure a 
sporting trophy, but in addition, probably save some human 
lives, for wounded animals such as tigers, leopards, bears 
or bison are always a source of danger to any natives in 
the neighbourhood, who might inadvertently come upon 
them while seeking for cattle or firewood in the jungle in 
which they are lying up. 

There is yet another practice to which every would-be 
hunter of big game should, if he wishes to succeed as such, 
devote his attention and study to acquire, and that is, the 
art of tracking. It is, doubtless, difficult to learn, but by 
constantly accompanying his men when scouring the 
jungles for game, and carefully observing various marks 
or indications of where an animal has been, he will in course 
of time be able to decipher them with ease. 

He will find it very difficult at first to distinguish 
between the footprints of various beasts, and may find 
himself mistaking the track of a goat for a boar or those 
of a hyena for a panther, but time and experience will over- 
come these difficulties, and he will ultimately be surprised 
to find how easily he is able to discriminate between foot- 
prints much less distinguishable even than these, as, for 
instance, those of a tiger from a tigress, which though 
apparently very similar, are to the practised eye quite 
different, the former being much squarer, especially if 
the animal is old, whilst those of the tigress are more oval 
in shape. 
34 



A TIGRESS AND HER CUBS 

And now having, to the best of my ability, endeavoured 
to initiate the reader into the mysteries of tiger shooting 
as practised in the Presidency of Bombay, I will go on to 
relate some of my own experiences and adventures with 
these animals, both during my term of office as Tiger 
Slayer to Government and subsequently in my ordinary 
official life as a District Police Officer. 

To give an account of every tiger I have slain would 
make as tiring reading as it would be tedious to record.* 
I will confine myself therefore to recounting such incidents 
only as were specially exciting, or tend to confirm the 
opinion I have expressed as to the merit or defects of the 
various rifles I have referred to in the preceding chapter. 

To begin then with an adventure I experienced while 
encamped at the village of Langdi Bawanee, a deserted 
Bhil hamlet in the Satpuda Hills. 

I was out one morning looking for sambar, when we 
me on the fresh tracks of a tigress and two cubs, leading 
lo a deep, rocky ravine, banked on either side by high 
grass and reeds. Having only a couple of men with me, 
I sent to the nearest village, six miles distant, for some 
beaters. 

By the time these arrived it was nearly 5 p.m., so as 
there was little time to lose, I selected a tree, at the lower 
end of the covert, and, mounting into it, told the beaters 
to drive the tigress towards me. 

As the men came along the tigress showed herself for 
an instant, and then retiring under a mass of green foliage, 
'' y perfectly still. 

Making a signal to the beaters with my hand, indicating 
the position which the tigress had taken up, I waited 
patiently. Presently one of the men, neglecting my ex- 
press instructions to keep well together, approached the 
spot alone from above and throwing a stone into the 
foliage was promptly charged by the tigress. 

He ran for some trees, where his comrades had taken 
(• on hearing the tigress roar, closely followed by the 
uited beast. Two more strides and she would have 

* Mr. Digby DariM has shot to hk own rifle OT«r VO tigen and baa 
aaaktod at the destniotion of many oth«n. 

96 



■ 



TIGER SLAYER BY ORDER 

caught him up, but at this moment he had fortunately 
reached the tree, and seizing a branch, swung himself up. 
The tigress, however, by getting a momentary hold for 
her claws on the trunk, seized him by the leg, inflicting 
two deep wounds, but luckily the man held on, for had he 
loosed his grip nothing could have saved him. 

I had a perfect view of these proceedings from my tree, 
but the distance — about ninety yards — was too great for 
accurate shooting, and by the time I had climbed down 
and reached the spot, the tigress had gone back into the 
cover whence she had charged. 

We bandaged up the man, and making a litter of boughs, 
sent him off to camp. Meanwhile, the tigress could be 
heard growling savagely in the covert, and thinking she 
would probably repeat her tactics, and so give me a shot, 
I quietly mounted the tree on which the man had been, 
while the Bhils bombarded her with stones, but failed to 
make her move. 

There was nothing for it now but to walk her up, in 
other words, to attack her in her stronghold, so, collecting 
a few likely looking men, we approached the spot, but had 
not gone very far, when out she rushed with a loud roar, 
and before I had time to fire had gained the shelter of an 
overhanging ledge of rock, disappearing into some dense 
jungle below, where I had to leave her for the night. 



36 



MAN-EATERS 

holdly, first creeping up to them with a rapid, stealthy 
movement. 

These pests of the jungle, happily now rare, are usually 
old tigers and invariably ex-cattle lifters who, having 
frequented the neighbourhood of villages and become 
accustomed to the presence of men, begin by caiT> ing off 
some wretched unsuspecting cowherd or wood-cutter, and 
liaving thus discovered that killing human beings is easier 
work than cattle or game, take to man eating as a source 
f subsistence. 

It is an error to suppose, by the way, that man-caters 

ire invariably mangy or lean, for, on the contrary', they 

re usually in prime condition, with bright and glossy 

oats, excellent as trophies. Unfortunately, however, the 

rapidity and uncertainty of a man-eater's movements 

always make it difficult to bring one to bag. 

Towards the end of April, '88, I was encamped at 
Mitagaon on the borders of the Barwanee territory. This 
place, owing to innumerable deep and tortuous ravines, 
tilled with long grass and thorny bushes, was notorious 
for the number of tigers in its vicinity, and in one year I 
had killed thirty-one to my own rifle, and helped to slay 
several more. 

The day after my arrival at the camp, khabbar ♦ was 
brought to me of a tiger having killed a buffalo a short 
distance off. I started inmiediately for the spot, and 
taking up the tracks, marked the beast do%vn in a small 
nullah. I sent in the beaters, and, there being no suitable 
tree available, had to await the drive on foot. 

The shouts of the beaters soon disclosed the fact that 
tlie animal was started, and presently a very large tiger 
emerged from the cover, and leisurely walked past me, 
about fifteen yards away, thus presenting a large and easy 
lai^^ot which I could scarcely fail to hit. I fired at once 
with my -500 Express, rolUng him over like a rabbit, the 
bullet of pure lead having entered close behuid the shoulder 
and smashed the heart to pieces. 

Here was thus an instance of a tiger being killed by a 
single bullet, and yet, only two days later, with this my 

• New*. 



TIGER SLAYER BY ORDER 

rifle, I shot a tigress through the brain, but she held on, 
and with undiminished speed, for fully thirty yards before 
she fell ! 

This — with the case described in the earlier pages of 
this chapter — shows how tenaciously at times the larger 
beasts of prey will cling to life, thus rendering their pursuit 
so dangerous to the sportsman when on foot. Sucl 
tenacity to life, however, is fortunately rare, for, as a genera 
rule, a shot if well placed will, even if not instantly fata 
at any rate put the animal out of action. Nevertheles • 
accidents in tiger shooting, as with polo or any oth« 
dangerous form of sport, must occasionally occur, an- 
sometimes most unexpectedly as the following inciden 
will show. 

I was once encamped at Pansunba — also in the Bar- 
wanee territory — when my men who had been out as usual 
looking for tracks, reported the presence of a tigress and 
two cubs in a broad, sandy ravine not very far off. On 
my arrival there I found the ravine in question ran between 
two sloping banks, both covered with high grass and 
reeds. 

Placing some men on trees to drive the tigress back, 
should she attempt to break up either side, I took my 
post on a tree at the furthest end of the cover. Knowing 
the danger they ran in beating up a tigress with cubs, I 
cautioned the beaters to keep well together and distributed 
amongst them some spare guns which I had loaded with 
buck shot. 

I had scarcely taken up my position when I heard loud 
shouts, followed by a succession of savage roarings from 
the tigress. Presently one of the stops at the upper end 
of the covert signalled that the tigress had broken back 
and gone up the bank ; however, the beaters still came on, 
driving before them a three-quarter grown cub which I 
promptly rolled over. 

I then left my tree, and accompanied by my two trusty 
shikaris, Bapu and Etoo, proceeded in the direction the 
tigress had gone, with the intention of taking up her tracks 
and marking her down again if possible. 

Guided by the men on trees, we cautiously approached 
the spot where she was last seen and were carefully 
40 



^. 



ERRATA. 

Page 40, line 15, for " Pansunba," read " PunsunbaL" 

Page 49, line II, for ** nnmeroos," read " large." 

Page 50, lino 29, between "remember" taxd "one," m*ert "on." 

Page CI, line 3, for " boxes," read " hoaxes." 

Page 64, line 26, for " keep," read " try." 



no BR lUTaa bt oum 



I AM MAULED BY A TIGRESS 

examining the ground, when we were startled by a deafening 
roar, instantly followed by the tigress who came charging 
do»vn the bank, and at such speed that her belly almost 
touched the ground. 

Stepping forward, clear of some bushes, I had barely 
time to aim, but succeeded in getting off both barrels of 
my rifle right into her face, which then was hardly three 
paces from me. However, she managed to get home, and 
the next moment I was on my back with the tigress standing 
over me growling savagely. 

I remembered nothmg more, but on coming to found 
myself surrounded by Bhils and my kte antagonist Jying 
dead at my feet — a fine, heavy beast with a rich dark skin. 
I now learnt that on the tigress seizing me, Bapu had most 
pluckily run in and shot her through the head, all this 
having been the work of a few seconds. 

My chest and arms were badly clawed and bitten, but 
the wounds were not so serious as they might have been, 
thanks to the crippled condition of the tigress, whose 
lower jaw had been literally blown to pieces by ray shots, 
and to the cool and plucky Bapu, who with great presence 
of mind had shot her before she could do me further 
iriischicf. 

The men now bandaged me up with strips torn off their 
clothing, and making a litter of boughs, carried me back 
to camp, distant some eight miles, where I had my wounds 
attended to by the native apothecary in charge of the 
Panscinbal Dispensary-. Eventually, under the skilful 

treatment of Colonel B , Civil Surgeon of Dhulia, I 

overed entirely from my wounds. 

The rifle I had been using was a '450 Express, carr>'ing 

light hollow bullet, lent me by my poor friend G of 

the Forest Department, who was afterwards killed by a 
tiger. This bullet being so hollow had completely broken 
up. Had I had my Rigby, which was unfortunately in 
the hands of the gun-maker at the time, I am confident 
its long heavy bullet would have stopped the tigress, 
possibly killed her instantaneously, as on examining the 
skull, I found both my shots had struck her fairly between 
the nostrils, from which there is a clear passage to the 

41 



TIGER SLAYER BY ORDER 

However, I was glad enough to have got off so cheaply 
as I had, for the death-roll of sportsmen killed by tigers in 
Khandesh was very heavy about this time, amongst them 

H of the Civil Service, K , Royal Army Medical 

Corps, and others whose names I have forgotten, besides 

G , already mentioned, who, like myself, had been only 

slightly mauled, but blood poisoning setting in, had died 
within a week. A fine sportsman he was, too, and a great 
loss to the district. 

Another instance of a light bullet from a small bore 
failing to inflict a fatal wound, was on one occasion when 
I was shooting in the Satpuda range of hills. I had strolled 
out one evening, accompanied by my dog-boy — a lad of 
about ten years of age — ^to look for chinkara, or ravine 
deer, in some scrub jungle near my camp. Not expecting 
to meet with any big game, I had taken only my single 
•400 Express and half a dozen cartridges. 

A short distance from the tents was a deep, rocky 
ravine, choked with dense bushes and masses of creeping 
plants. As we were skirting round this, we suddenly 
heard some monkeys at the extreme end of the covert 
uttering their harsh, peculiar cry of alarm, and thinking 
they had probably seen a panther, we cautiously approached 
the spot, keeping a sharp look out. 

Crawling on hands and knees, we had almost reached 
the end of the ravine, and I was searching the ground for 
tracks, when the boy, catching me by the arm, pointed to 
some rocks above us. At the same moment I saw a large 
tiger picking his way leisurely among the boulders, about 
twenty yards to my front, and evidently quite unconscious 
of our presence. 

I fired at once, striking him in the ribs. Unfortunately, 
my foot slipping at the moment on some stones prevented 
my swinging the rifle as far forward as I had intended, with 
the result that the bullet struck the animal a little too far 
back. 

Quickly pushing in another cartridge, I fired again, 
smashing his forearm. 

This brought him rolling down the slope to within ten 
yards of where we stood, but I now reserved my fire, for 
when we first saw the tiger I had only three cartridges left, 
42 



A PERILOUS SITUATION 

having fired the rest at some ehinkara which we had come 
upon before. 

Meanwhile, my small dog-boy, terrified out of his young 
senses, had closed up to me for protection, and no wonder, 
considering his years, for the tiger was now growling 
savagely and biting his injured leg in impotent rage, as 
wounded tigers often do. 

Presently, he sat up on his haunches, like a huge dog, 
and looking in our direction, I knew at once that he had 
seen us. Drawing himself back, with body arched, ears 
laid flat, lips dra>vn up, exposing his long white fangs, and 
eyes flashing fire, he fixed his gaze upon us. This was 
certainly one of the most perilous situations I have been 
in, for truly the beast was an awe-inspiring spectacle, and 
I felt my heart beating considerably quicker than its wont, 
as I thought of the light rifle in my hands, and how 
ineffective it liad shown itself to be. 

Still I reserved my fire, expecting every moment that 
the beast would charge when I intended to blaze into his 
face, and trust to luck, but presently, and to m\ intense 
relief, he stood up, and then, slowly retracing his steps 
over the rocks, disappeared from vie»v. 

I now sent off the boy to camp to fetch my heavy rifle, 
and as many men as he could collect. By the time they 
arrived the sun had almost set, nevertheless, we took up 
the blood tracks into some high grass where one of the men 
^vho had climbed on to a tree called out that he could see 
' tiger. 

Handing the mxin my rifle, I climbed up too into the 

e, and soon made out the beast in a crouching position 
and facing in my direction. Taking a steady aim, I fired 
j"ul shot him through the neck. 

He was a large heavy tiger, measuring nine feet five 
uiches as he lay. My first bullet had struck him in the ribs 
but being light and expanding, had merely inflicted a 
surface wound. My second had shattered his forearm, 
btit this would not have prevented him from charging 
home had I not finished him wth the heavy rifle. 



4S 



CHAPTER VII 

A rare chance — A bull bison and a tiger — Hopes of a record — " Right and 
left " — Beating on spec — The bull bison viewed — Changing my rifle 
— About to puU the trigger — The tiger appears on the scene — An 
unparalleled situation — A chance of making history — Another change 
of rifles — Fatal hesitation — The tiger alarmed — Making oS at a gallop 
— A difficult shot — The record unachieved — The tigress shot — The 
light rifle scores for once — Another tiger killed — Evidence in favour 
of the heavier weapon — Experience gained as tiger slayer — Some 
remarks on tigers — Varieties of the species — Hot and cold weather 
coats — Colour a sign of age — Muscular development — " Lucky bones " 
— Cattle-killing and hill tigers — Difference in weight and size — Length 
of tigers — Methods of measurement — Age difficult to determine — 
How a tiger kills its prey — Manner of eating — Not necessarily nocturnal 
in its habits — An example — The tiger's attack — Wounds generally 
fatal — Time of breeding — Number of cubs produced — Devouring their 
young — Feeding the cubs — Cubs as pets — Tiger fat and rheumatism 
— ^Milk of tigress as medicine — Adventures of a sample — Legends 
and superstitions — -A curiosity' in tigers — Declared a new species — 
The mystery solved — Disillusion. 

It was seldom, even in the India of thirty years ago — a 
period when its jungles were swarming with big game — 
that a sportsman had the luck to find himself simultaneously 
confronted with two such noble quarry as a bull bison and 
a tiger ! Yet such was the rare, though somewhat em- 
barrassing, situation I was placed in one evening when 
out shooting near my camp. 

I was returning home after a fruitless search for bison 
accompanied by my henchman Bapu, when we came 
across his co-tracker Etoo, and the remainder of the 
men, who had been in a different direction, also looking 
for tracks. They informed us that they had come on 
the fresh pugs * of a tiger early in the morning and had 
followed them to the edge of a hill where, the ground being 
hard and stony, they had lost them. 

* Footprints. 
44 



C HANCE OF A POSSIBLE " RECORD " MISSED 

As this hill was but a short distance up and there was 
yet sufficient light, I decided to beat it on spec. We 
accordingly made for the spot where, taking up my position 
near a tree with Bapu beside me, I told the rest to go 
round and work over the hill towards us. Parallel to, 
and at the foot of the hill, was a dry watcr-coiu-se, the 
far side of which was covered with dense reed and 
bushes, 

I had my 500 Express as well as a lO-bore rifle, which 
Bapu was carrying, the latter being intended for the bison 
I had hitherto failed to find. 

Scarcely had the men reached the top of the hill, which 
was studded with teak trees and bush, when I saw a 
splendid bull bison emerge from the reeds, and come 
walking along the water-course directly for our tree, which 
he passed to the left, about five paces' distant. 

Quickly exchanging the Express for the 10-bore, I had 
covered his massive shoulder, and was about to press the 
trigger, when Bapu suddenly drew my attention to a huge 
tiger which was trotting down the hill immediately opposite 
ns ! 

The position was now a difficult and most perplexing 
one, for here was I with a bull bison to my left and a tiger 
to my right, free to shoot at either, perhaps at both, and 
thus, with luck, create perhaps a record " right and 

left " ! 

It was an achievement by no means impossible, but 
unfortumitely not destined to come off. ' Deciding to take 
the tiger, I foolishly changed rifles again, and quietly as 
this was done, the movement was sufficient to betray 
us. The tiger, now only some twelve yards off, detect e<l 
us at once, and swerving abruptly to the left, went lumbering 
<l<)wn the hill. 

He passed me at a fast j^anuji. I managed, however, to 
I lit him, and on receiving the shot, he lurcheti hcjivily 
forward but held on, and entering a thick bamboo jungle 
l)ord(ring the hill, was soon lost to view. 

\ ^ it was too late now to follow him, we postponed the 
im«-M«it to the next morning, when we took up his tracks. 
We found a few drops of blood at lirst, but after a time these 
ceased to show, and though we followed up the pugs for a 

45 



TIGER SLAYER BY ORDER 

considerable distance, we were finally obliged to abandon 
the search. 

Probably the tiger had merely received a flesh wound 
from which, as I did not get him, I hoped he would 
eventually recover, and that we might meet again some 
day! 

The bison, no doubt, had made off earlier in the pro- 
ceedings — at any rate, I have no recollection of having 
seen him after transferring my attention to the tiger. 

Thus ended an incident which, had fortune favoured 
me, might have proved better worth recording, but though 
I failed to achieve what would, probably, have been a 
record " right and left," yet the situation in itself was so 
unique that I make no apology for describing it. 

4f * * * * 

When out shooting on one occasion with B of the 

policein the Ghorisgaon jungles (Khandesh), we had wounded 
a tigress and followed her up into some very thick jungle. 
So dense was the cover that we had to hack our way to 
where the tigress lay. Suddenly we came upon her, crouch- 
ing within five paces of us, and opening fire at once, rolled 
her over dead. 

Fortunately she did not charge, or she would certainly 
have left her mark on one, or both, of us. It was a broken 
hip, no doubt, that prevented her from doing so, for at 
such extremely close quarters, it is seldom that a wounded 
tiger fails to take the offensive. She was a fine beast, 
measuring eight feet six inches, and it was with some 
difficulty that we dragged the carcase out of the dense 
cover. 

On another occasion I was beating for bakri * in a strip 
of jungle, when suddenly a fine tiger put in his appearance. 
I was on foot and armed with a light, single-barrelled rifle, 
but the chance was too good a one to lose. The tiger was 
standing facing me about fifteen yards off, so taking a 
steady aim between the eyes, I fired, and lurching heavily 
forward, he fell stone dead. 

Hearing the shot the beaters came running up, expecting 
to find I had " bagged " the bakri, and were consequently 

* Jungle sheep. 
46 



ADVANTAGES OF A HEAVY RIFLE 

much amazed to see me standing over a tiger instead — and 
a fine one at that, the animal measuring nine feet eight 
inches. 

On walking through the covert later, we found he had 
killed one of the beasts I had been looking for, and had 
' 'ten the greater portion. 

The above was seemingly a distinct score for the 
advocates of light rifles taking a hollow bullet, but in point 
of fact this incident was no proof of its efficiency, for had 
there been tough twigs, or even reeds, intervening between 
the tiger and myself, the light bullet would probably have 
been deflected, whereas with a heavier projectile such 
obstruction would not necessarily have affected its course. 

As an example of this I may quote the following 
incident. 

I was once following up a wounded tiger, when we 
suddenly came upon him, crouching behind a clump of 
bamboos, the tough stems of which partly protected his 
head and shoulders. In these circumstances to fire at the 
beast, with any certainty of killing him at once, was 
extremely problematical. 

However, there was no time to wait for a more favourable 
opportunity, as from the quick, twitching movement of 
the tail, I could tell that the tiger was on the point of 
charging, so, aiming at as much of the head as I could see, 
killing him almost instantaneously, 
sequent examination showed that the heavy, solid 
bullet, driven by six drams of powder, crashing through 
numerous obstructing twigs, had struck him half-way 
between the nostrils and the eyes. Had it been a lighter, 
hollow bullet, it would either have been deflected by the 
t wigs, or broken up completely. 

I hardly deserved this tiger, however, for I had missed 
nun badly the day before, though this was possibly due to 
my being somewhat shaky at the t ime from repeated attacks 
of fever, and, moreover, had not quite recovered from 
the mauling I had received, as described in a previous 
chapter. In a second beat, however, I had managed to 
hit him in the ribs, but too far back, and it was only after 
weary miles of tracking with my men, tliat wc had finally 

luc on to him. 

47 



TIGER SLAYER BY ORDER 

This incident brings me to the end of my Hst of exciting 
or out-of-the-way adventures experienced with tigers 
in Khandesh, for though I shot many more of these animals 
while employed in that district, none of them, so far as I 
remember, gave me any trouble to secure, nor was the 
pursuit of them attended by any circumstances of sufficient 
interest to relate. 

During my long term of office there as tiger slayer, 
however, I had, as I have already observed, quite excep- 
tional opportunities for acquiring a knowledge of the 
habits, etc., of these animals, not only by personal obser- 
vation, but by talking to and questioning the Bhils, than 
whom, as a people, there are none better informed on this 
subject. 

As much of this information thus acquired would possibly 
be of interest, and certainly of some value, to any sports- 
man who may be contemplating a shooting trip to India, 
I will, before closing this chapter, give a brief resume from 
notes I made from time to time. 

To begin with, there is, as, I believe, universally 
acknowledged, but one species of tiger, though varying 
a good deal in size and colour, those found in Northern 
China and Korea or Manchuria, for example, being said 
to be larger, and have certainly thicker coats than those 
of India, nature's provision, no doubt, for the colder 
climate they inhabit, for tigers killed during the cold 
weather in India, too, have a much richer coat, the fur 
being closer and longer than of those shot in the hot 
weather. 

Tigers in India become lighter in colour from age, the 
stripes becoming narrower, fainter, and further apart as 
their age increases. 

The muscular development of a tiger is enormous, and 
there are two curiously bent bones, about four inches long, 
disconnected with any other bones, embedded in the flesh 
and muscle of either shoulder, that give extra strength ft 
and cohesion to the parts. These clavicle bones — called ^ 
by Europeans " lucky bones " — are much prized by the 
natives as charms. 

The weight of a tiger is between four and five hundred 
pounds, but varies considerably according to the locality I 
48 f 





k^' 



BUU. BUFPAW). 

(Central Provinces,) 



\fhttp 4«. 



TIGERS AND THEIR WAYS 

111 which they are found. The cattle-lifter or cattle-killing 
tiger is usually heavier and in better condition, subsisting 
as it does chiefly on cattle, than the game-killing or hill 
tiger, which lives principally on game, and is usually a 
lighter and more active beast because of it having to travel 
longer distances for its food. I have, however, killed ver>' 
large hill tigers in jungles where such game as wild pig or 
sambar were plentiful. 

The length of a tiger depends greatly on the manner in 
which it is measured, for a skin can be stretched to almost 
any length. Of the numerous number of tigers I have shot, 
none exceeded ten feet two inches, and I can only remember 
one of that length, shot in the Central Provinces, the 
average length being nine feet six inches. In measuring 
a tiger, care should be taken that the measurement is in 
a straight line from nose to tip of tail and not round the 
curves as measurements are taken in Bengal. 

The average age to which a tiger lives is, I believe, 
twenty years. It is always difficult to tell the age except 
by the size, faintness of the stripes, and the discoloured 
appearance of the teeth or fangs. 

In killing cattle or game, the tiger invariably fixes its 
claws and teeth into the Hesh to obtain the necessary 
purchase, then seizing the throat in his jaw from uii'l« r- 
neath, gives the fatal wrench which dislocates the n«<k, 
bearing down its victim by sheer weight. Human beings 
re invariably seized by the head or neck. 

In eating its prey the tiger always commences at the 
hindquarters. The exact spot where the first mouthful 
will he taken can be told with certainty. After and during 
I lu- meal the tiger drinks largely. 

Tigers arc not necessarily nocturnal in their habits. 
i hey hunt by day as well as by night. I recall on one 
occasion tying up a young buffalo, as bait for a tiger early 
ill the afternoon. Shortly after we had left the spot, 
• were startled by a roar and on returning found the 
iiger had already killed the buffalo and dragged it into a 
nullah close by 1 Strangely enough, wc did not get that 
tiger, though wc beat for him twice I 

The attack of a tiger is terrific, as may be imagined 
from an animal of such vast muscular proportions, one of 

B 49 



TIGER SLAYER BY ORDER 

the most powerful elements in the attack being the startling, 
coughing roar with which it is invariably accompanied, 
a sound so intense in volume and ferocity as to be almost 
paralyzing to the coolest, and once heard can never be 
forgotten or mistaken for any other sound. 

Wounds from a tiger's teeth or claws are ver^'^ often 
fatal, blood poisoning usually setting in, besides the shock 
to the system which is naturally very great. Tigers do 
not breed at any fixed seasons. I have taken cubs in 
April and October — on two occasions four at a litter, but 
this is unusual, three being the more common number, 
and occasionally two. The cubs, as with pups and kittens, 
are born blind. 

Tigers not infrequently devour their young, hence it 
is seldom that a tigress with young cubs will be found in 
the same jungle with her mate. A tigress remains with her 
cubs till they are almost full grown and able to take care 
of themselves. While under her charge she is most 
assiduous in teaching them to kill. When very young she 
feeds them with gobbets of half -digested flesh which she 
disgorges on her return from hunting. I was once an 
eye-witness to this interesting performance while watching, 
unperceived, a tigress with her cubs. 

Tiger cubs make charming pets if taken young. I have 
reared several, but have never kept them for any length of 
time. They thrive best on raw meat. The fat of a tiger 
is considered by the natives a valuable cure for rheumatism, 
as also is milk taken from a tigress. 

I remember one occasion, while following the tracks of 
a bison, coming upon the deserted lair of a tigress, where 
amongst other evidence of her recent occupation, the 
Bhils discovered some white, chalky-looking substance. 
They collected this with delight, exclaiming that it was 
tiger's milk and would command a good price in the market 
as medicine. 

It seems that the tigress had apparently been deserted 
by her cubs, and the overflow of milk had solidified. I 
kept a small portion, which I sent to the Chemical Analyser 
to the Government of Bombay with a view to its being 
examined, but received no reply. 

Years afterwards, happening to meet this official, I 
50 



SUPERSTITIONS REGARDING TIGERS 

discovered that the match-box containmg this curious 
substance had not been opened, as it was believed to be 
one of the many boxes to which his particular department 
often fell a victim. He much r^retted, how^ever, having 
missed the opportunity of examining such a phenomenal 
specimen ! 

There are many other theories as to the traits or habits 
of the tiger, which though doubtless founded on experi- 
ence as long, or even longer than my own, I have not quoted, 
as they do not happen to have come under my personal 
notice. One such hypothesis, for example, is that a tiger 
and tigress will sometimes hunt together, the one taking 
up a position while the other drives the game towards it.* 
Another, that if a kill is handled by any human being, 
the tiger will not return to it ; or again — though this is 
more probably a native superstition — that if the animal 
killed by a tiger should happen to fall with its head pointing 
to the west, the tiger will abandon it, or at any rate w^ill 
not rctiu-n ! 

Before concluding these remarks on tigers and their 
ways, I am tempted to quote a curious incident which, 
while it has no reference to the habits of these animals, 
yet proves how easily even sportsmen of experience may 
sometimes be deceived and led to imagine, from the seem- 
ingly good evidence before them, that they have discovered 
new species. Here is the story as told to me by one who 
u tl read it in an old Indian sportmg magazine. 

-Many years ago a party of sport smcu in Bengal had 
shot a tiger, and on examining it later found it had ears 
like those of a crop-eared fox-terrier and a tail but a few 
inches in length. 

After careful consideration, thty solemnly pronounced 
I lie beast to be a hitherto undiscovered species of the tiger, 
and reported their discovery in the magazine above quoted, 
and after some controversial correspondence on the subject, 
the strange aninud was finally accepted as a new species. 

Meanwhile, a sportsman of an adjacent district, who 

happened to have been on leave in England at the time, 

turned to India, and coming across the magazine, was 

• For a verifioatioo of tUi a«e tbe author't 1m» wotk, "TfaniUad,*' 

161. 

51 



I 



TIGER SLAYER BY ORDER 

much interested to find that a new kind of tiger had been 
discovered. 

Suddenly, however, he remembered that some years 
prior to the date on which this tiger had been shot, he 
and a friend had captured a small cub, and one day, while 
cutting the ears and tails of some terrier pups, had, on the 
impulse of the moment, performed a similar operation on 
the cub, which some months later had escaped and was 
lost in an adjoining jungle ! 



52 



CHAPTER VIII 

Tiger slayer and policeman — A useful combination — ^Tracking a Dacoit 
leader — A troublesome gang — Eluding the police — In pursuit — My 
early morning visitor — A nude, wild figure — An unexpected meeting — 
A conditional surrender suggested — Offer of a drink — Sampling the 
brandy — Arrested in the act — Camp life in India — Tents— Council 
round the camp fire — Useful information thus acquired — A day in 
camp described — Fascination of the life — Camping near jungles — 
Noises in the night as music to the sportsman — Possibilities of 
adventure, an example — A dinner interrupted — Face to face with a 
leopard— Dangerous curiosity — Another camp adventure — A shooting 
camp disturbed — Besieged by a wild elephant — Its t hreatening attitude 
— A thrilling moment— Suspense relieved — A well-considered shot — 
Comical conclusion — A Christmas camp — Some bears marked down 
— The beat b^;un — A frock-ooated sportsman — Charged by a bear — 
His headlong flight — Coat-tails flying — Caught in a creeper — A Sootoh 
doctor to the rescue — A lucky ftuk»— " Get up, mon, I've shot the 
bar " — Proud of his success — His boast. 

As Tiger Slayer to the Government in Khandesh, much of 
my time was necessarily devoted to the destruction of 
these animals, for to be successful in this work required 
a great deal of personal attention to preliminary'' details. 
'ITianks, however, to the efficiency of the inestimable 
Bapu and his colleagues, this labour was considerably 
lessened, enabling me to give the attention necessary for 
the performance of my other duties as police-officer of the 
district. 

In point of fact, however, I found that much of what I 
learnt while tiger-hunting, was of equal use to me as Super- 
intendent of Police, for to carry out efficiently the duties 
of either oirice it was essentially nece&sarj' to mix freely 
with the people and to elicit from them t lie information 
I I -quired in lK)th cases. 

Thus, while ostensibly and actually iinjuiring as to 
the whereabouts of a tiger, I was often able to pick up useful 
information regarding the people of the village I happened 

58 



TIGER SLAYER BY ORDER 

to be in, as for instance, any persons whom I had reason 
for supposing were secretly engaged in criminal pursuits. 

In this way I picked up on one occasion some valuable 
information about a Bhil named Lal-Sing, who subsequently 
developed into a somewhat famous leader of Dacoits, and 
whose arrest was eventually accomplished in the following 
curious fashion. 

We had been troubled for some time by a gang of Dacoits 
supposed to be under the leadership of this man, who was 
a deserter from the Mawas, or Irregular Police. They had 
committed several murders, held up villages, stopped 
travellers on the roads, etc., etc., and when finally pressed 
by our special parties, the leader took refuge in the hills 
where it was impossible to locate him, though he was seen 
once or twice and fired at, but escaped. 

At length one night, while still engaged in the pursuit, 
I was asleep in a bungalow at Palasnair, a village at the foot 
of the hills, when I was awoke by a feeling as of some one 
near me, and in the dim morning light I saw a nude, wild 
figure, armed with a bow and arrows. I asked him what 
he wanted, awaiting his answer with some interest, for 
I had by then recognized my visitor as being no less 
important an individual than the famous Dacoit leader, 
Lal-Sing himself, the very person I was in pursuit of ! 

He said " he had come to give himself up on condition 
that he was forgiven, and that I would keep him myself," 
by which, I presume, he meant that I would not give him 
up to justice. He added " that he would return for my 
answer, but that he must now rejoin his comrades, who were 
awaiting him in a village some two miles off." 

I replied " that I was delighted to see him," which was 
true enough ; then, knowing a Bhil's weakness for alcoholic 
liquids, suggested he should have a drink before he went, 
and producing a full bottle of brandy, handed it to him, 
after knocking off the top. While he was testing its con- 
tents, swallowing the major portion in the process, I stole 
out, and calling to the sentry — who, by the way, I found 
asleep — we captured the sporting reprobate, who was 
eventually sent up and tried, and being convicted, was 
sentenced to a long term of imprisonment. 

^ SjC Jp <• 5|» 

54 



CAMP LIFE IN INDIA 

One of the pleasantest periods in the life of an Indian 
Police Officer is that portion of it which, under the regu- 
lations, he is required to spend in touring through his 
district on inspection duty. This cold-weather tour, as 
it is termed officially, usually begins about the 15th 
November and is continued, with short intervals at head- 
quarters, till the end of March. 

During these four months the climate of India is at its 
very best, and is probably, at this season, the finest in 
the world, with day after day of brilliant sunshine, tempered 
by cool breezes, and the nights so cold and often frosty, 
that a fire is by no means a mere luxury, especially out in 
camp, where, apart from the comfort it imparts, it serves 
to light up the surroundings as well as to purify the air 
which, after sunset, in the neighbourhood of jungles, is apt 
to be malarious. 

Camp life in India has often been described and, as it 
deserves to be, generally in glowing terms, since it would 
be difficult to imagine a condition of life more thoroughly 
enjoyable, for it must not be supposed that camping in 
India, in the sense referred to here, involves any of the 
hardships or discomforts such as one experiences in that 
questionable amusement known as " camping out," which 
'-nme people, gifted with more energy than discretion, 
oasionally indiJge in in England. 

On the contrary, for, in the first place, every official, 
whose duties include an annual tour of his district, is 
provided by Government with large, roomy tents, usually 
sufficient in number to allow of one being always sent on 
ahead, to be pitched on the new camping ground. Thus 
when marching from one encampment to another — usually 
done in the early morning — the official finds a comfortable 
shelter awaiting him, as well as breakfast, for the cook, 
with his appliances, has come on during the night. 

The other tents and equipage, transported on many 

bullock carts, arrive some hours later, and before the 

night sets in, the tents arc re-erected, their furniture 

I ranged and the carts being paid up and discharged, the 

iicampment is, to all appearances, as it was the day before 

lie move was made. 

Then, as the sun goes down, and the brief Indian 

55 



TIGER SLAYER BY ORDER 

twilight is merging into darkness, comes a period of blissful 
inactivity passed lounging in a hammock-chair by the 
camp fire, discussing sport with the shikaris, may be, or 
in extracting information from the head men of the villages 
in the neighbourhood of the camp. 

Much useful information, whether concerning sport or 
crime, can be picked up in this way, for while voluble enough 
when talked to in this unofficial manner, natives are singu- 
larly reticent if they suspect they are being questioned for 
some specific purpose. Thus, at these camp-fire councils, 
the official not only picks up information which he could not 
otherwise obtain, but, what is as important, gains the 
confidence of the people, which once secured, is a valuable 
asset in all dealings with orientals, and one not easy to 
acquire by Europeans. 

But to continue. The most important function of the 
day is dinner, which served in the cosy comfort of a warm, 
well-lighted tent, has little in it to suggest the primitive 
kitchen whence it issued, for though cooked in the open, 
and on a range, ingeniously constructed out of clay, in the 
number and quality of the courses, it differs in no way 
from an ordinary meal. 

Nor in such matters as table linen, glass or plate, is any 
difference to be seen, and even the furniture, though 
obviously of a kind made to take to pieces or roll up, is 
solid in appearance and comfortable in use. In fact, 
except for its poles and canvas walls, there is nothing much 
in the interior of the tent to distinguish it from that of an 
ordinary, plainly furnished room. 

In addition to this, the day or " dining " tent, which, 
by the way, is usually sent on the night before the camp is 
moved, there is the sleeping tent, a counterpart of the other, 
and being as comfortably furnished, makes as cosy a bed- 
room as any one could wish for. 

The general pattern of these tents is what is termed a 
Swiss cottage, varying in size from twelve to fourteen 
feet square, with two poles, connected by a transverse 
bar, or ridge pole, and having a verandah at either 
end, the one at the back being enclosed to form a bath- 
room. 

There are two openings, or doors, in front, one on each 
56 



A LEOPARD IN CAMP AT NIGHT 

side of the pole, fitted with chicks,* which can be let down 
during the day to keep out the glare, and heavy curtains 
stiffened with lathes, for use at night, and as these are made 
large enough to overlap the openings, they keep the tent 
quite warm. 

In fact, as a place to sleep in, it would be difficult to 
find anything so snug and comfortable as these tents, and 
there is a fascination about this life too, for when, as 
often happens, the camp is pitched near a jungle, strange, 
awe-inspiring sounds are sometimes heard during the night, 
as, for instance, of a tiger calling to its mate, or the weird, 
^ping cry of a leopard on the prowl. 

These animals are probably some little distance from 
the camp, but in the stillness of the night, their cries sound 
as if the beasts were prowling round the tent. The situa- 
tion, therefore, is, to say the least of it, sufficiently exciting 
for the occupant, and if he is a sportsman, most fascinating 
too, for to him there is no music more entrancing than the 
call of a tiger or leopard in the night. 

But it must not be supposed that such experiences arc 
cunnnon, for even when encamped in the midst of a dense 
forest, night after night may pass without a sound to 
indicate the presence of any animal within it, still, as 
few Indian forests are untenanted, there is always the 
possibility of this silence being suddenly dispelled by a 
tiger's awe-inspiring roar, or by the cry of some other 
beast as interesting from a sportsman's point of view. 

As an example of how unexpectedly one may be con- 
fronted with wild animals, when encamped in the vicinity 

a jungle, I may quote two incidents, both of which 
curred to a friend of mine, a police officer in Bengal. 

On the first occasion, he and the district magistrate, 
while camping together in one of the wildest portions of 
their district, were seated one moonlight night at dinner, 
when suddenly there arose a loud, sharp, rasping cry, 
which, continuing for some seconds, secmetl to come from 
just outside the tent. My friend, being the keener sports- 
man of the two, rushed out at once to find himself face to 
face with a huge leopard, which, evidently attracted by a 
dog inside the tent, was standkig a few pacei from the 

* A OQiUiik owde o( thin bamboo strips fttnuif alossjy togsUier. 

57 



TIGER SLAYER BY ORDER 

door. Fortunately, however, it made no attempt to 
attack him, but turning quickly round, sneaked off into 
the jungle whence it came. It was a lucky escape, for 
in his eagerness to catch the beast in the act of uttering its 
curious, weird cry, my friend had run out unarmed. 

His next adventure, experienced a year or so later, was 
even more exciting, and might well have ended in disaster, 
if not to himself, to one or more of the twenty odd persons 
present at the time. 

On this occasion the scene of the adventure was a 
shooting camp, pitched on the borders of a large Govern- 
ment Reserve Forest, and the time, as before, while my 
friend and his guests were at dinner. 

The meal had just been served in the brilliantly lit up 
dining tent, when, suddenly, there was a tremendous 
uproar in the camp, servants and camp followers all 
shouting together, but producing no intelligible sounds, 
except for the two words " Jungli Hati — Jungli Hati " * 
which, repeated frequently, could be heard above the 
din. 

In a moment the dining tent was emptied of all but the 
two lady guests, the rest rushing out with one accord, 
most of them wondering, for the moment, what had 
happened, for amongst them were some to whom the two 
Hindustani words conveyed no information. 

My friend ran out with the others, but, mindful possibly 
of his former indiscretion, called for his rifle, which with 
some cartridges were quickly brought to him by one of the 
Khit-magar f in attendance. Loading the weapon, he 
followed the others to where the shouting crowd of natives 
were assembled. 

There, standing about thirty paces from this crowd, and 
in the very centre of the camp, consisting of some half a 
dozen larger and several smaller tents, was a huge tusker 
elephant, coated from head to foot with mud from a pool 
in which it had evidently been wallowing. 

Whether frightened at the shouting, or merely confused 
for the time, it stood perfectly still, its only movements 
being a forward and backward motion of its huge ears 

♦ Wild elephant. t Table servant, 

58 



ADVENTURE WITH A WILD ELEPILVNT 

and an occasional swaying of the trunk. But in these 
seemingly harmless movements there was danger, as the 
more experienced of those present knew, for such action 
in an elephant often precedes an attack. At the same 
time there was nothing to be done, for to fire at the 
animal then would in all probability have precipitated the 
attack. 

Fortunately, however, the beast was not, apparently, 
in a pugnacious mood just then, for after a minute or two, 
which to the helpless crowd awaiting its decision, must 
have seemed the longest in their lives, it turned slowly 
round, and picking its steps carefully through the tents' 
ropes, strode majestically away. 

But the danger was not over yet, for presently it stopped, 
and with its body half turned towards the camp, was stand- 
ing in a thoughtful attitude as il meditating whether it 
would not be better to advance again, when my friend, 
thinking rightly that at this critical moment a sudden 
shock might change the current of its thoughts, fired both 
barrels into its stern. 

The effect was instantaneous. With a squeal of pain, 
rage, or fear — possibly all three — the huge animal scuttled 
off as fast as it could go, seeming quite ridiculous in the 
anxiety it exhibited to be off, and thus bringing to a comical 
conclusion what had come perilously near to being a very 
serious tragedy, for there was no limit to the damage it 
might have done had it charged into the crowd. 

With the possibility of experiencing adventures such 
as these, always present, added to the free, healthy life 
he leads during this period, it is no wonder that the official 
Anglo-Indian should look for\**ard to the camping season, 
for after the long weary months of heat and toil, it comes as 

oasis, so to speak, in the desert of his late existence. 

Moreover, as already mentioned in a previous chapter, 
it is during these cold-weather tours — generally at Christmas 
time — that shooting parties are made up, when, by previous 
arrangement, the various officials of the district meet and 
camp together for a week or more, each carr>ing on his 
own duties, but devoting his leisure hours to sport. On 
these o<*casions it is usual to have a general mess, one large 
■ nt being set apart for this purpose, in which, after the 

59 



TIGER SLAYER BY ORDER 

day's work or sport, dinner, the most enjoyable social 
function of the day, is served, followed by hot grog, while 
seated round the camp fire, when every animal bagged that 
day is shot over again, and many a story told — some 
perhaps not unlike " travellers' tales " though probably 
quite true, for incidents in Indian sport are often quite as 
strange as fiction. 

It was at one of these camp gatherings during Christmas 
time, that we had a somewhat amusing adventure with a 
bear, an animal, by the way, which, though quite as 
dangerous as many to be found in the Indian jungle, is 
from its peculiarities also a comical beast at times and 
affords the sportsman much amusement. 

On this particular occasion, however, it was not so much 
the conduct of the bear as that of some of the sportsmen 
which amused us. We were rather a large party, consisting 
of two Indian civilians and their wives, the district judge, 
the doctor, and myself. 

The shikaris having marked down a couple of bears, 
we sallied forth one morning, the two ladies accompanying 
us on an elephant, from which they could watch the whole 
proceedings in absolute security. 

On arrival at the jungle, we took up our respective 
places, and the beaters being already assembled, the beat 
began at once. 

We had not long to wait, for presently one of the 
bears broke out in the direction of the post occupied by, 
let us say X, who, much to the amusement of the rest of 
us, was attired in a long frock-coat. How he came to 
have such a garment with him in camp, and why he had 
donned it to go bear-shooting in, we never discovered, but 
there it was, as originally created, silk facings and all 
complete. 

However, notwithstanding his extraordinary, unsports- 
manlike get-up, he was evidently quite at home with his 
rifle, and as the bear came nearer, he fired — but unfortu- 
nately missed — whereupon the beast promptly charged 
him. 

Then ensued a scene as comical as any I have ever 
witnessed in the jungles, for our friend, after his miss, 
having apparently lost all confidence in his shooting powers 
60 



THE DOCTOR'S LUCKY SHOT 

or those of his rifle, threw away the weapon and fled, 
closely pursued by the bear. 

Running blindly between the two elephants in his 
terror — his coat-tails streaming out behind him — he con- 
tinued his mad career, negotiating every obstacle in his 
path with extraordinary skill till his foot, catching in a 
creeper of uncompromising toughness, he fell and lay prone 
for a time. 

Meanwhile the doctor, who had been p>osted on his 

right, seeing his friend's danger, had also fired at the bear, 

and by a lucky fluke, shot it through the head, and was 

"Hw loudly proclaiming the feat, shouting in broad Scotch, 

I iet up, mon, get up. I've shot the bar." 

When discussing the adventure that night round the 
camp fire after dinner, I was complimenting the doctor 
on his performance, he replied, " Eh, mon, but I felt that 
"'^eady I could have killed a bumble bee at a thousand 
rds 1 " I did not ask him whether he meant sittmg, or 
on the wing ! 




«1 



CHAPTER IX 

A bear adventure — Following up the tracks — A black object seen — An 
erroneous conclusion — Firing too hastily — An old woman shot dead 
— Howls from the Press — Bloodthirsty suggestions — Another bear 
adventure — A short-sighted sportsman — " Thinking it was a bear " 
— " What, not dead yet ? " — The second barrel — A revelation and 
explanation — Disturbmg the bees — Pandemonium — Horses stung to 
death — Floods in Khandesh — A perilous adventure — Saving a woman's 
life — Native gratitude — A thankless task — A change of headquarters 
— My mosque bungalow — Said to be haunted — The ghost appears — 
Life at Nundobar — Coursing jackals, etc. — Cholera epidemic — A 
village devastated — Lose my cook — Death of the apothecary — I 
turn doctor — A successful prescription — Administering the mixture — 
My patient recovers — A claim for damages — A poUce mutiny averted 
— Drastic measures — ^My orders upheld — My first attempt at spearing 
a panther on horseback — An exciting chase — The panther crouching 
— Avoids the thrust^ — Seeks refuge amongst the rocks — A lucky 
escape — Panther spearing — A dangerous but most attractive form 
of sport — Railways and their influence on game — Revisiting old 
hunting grounds — Ravages caused by axe and plough — The march 
of civilization — Jungle now devoid of game — Sic transit gloria 
mundi. 

Shortly after the incident just related, we heard of another 
bear adventure or, rather, to put it more correctly, one in 
which a bear, although the object of pursuit, was not 
actually encountered, yet, indirectly, was the cause of what 
occurred. 

A friend of ours — ^the Forest Officer of the district — 
was out shooting, and happening to come upon the fresh 
tracks of a bear, was following them up, when he saw a 
black object moving in the jungle, a little distance off. 
Concluding, very naturally in the circumstances, that this 
was the beast he was after, he fired and saw the animal, as 
he thought, fall in a heap. 

Forcing his way through the jungle, he went up to it, 
when imagine his horror to find, instead of a bear, a rough, 
black blanket with an old woman lying dead beneath it. 
62 



^^r<TAKING HIS FRIEND FOR A BEAR 

It was a terrible disiister, and yet he could hardly be 
held to blame, for it appears that the woman had been 
stooping down gathering sticks, and in this attitude with 
the rough, black kumle or blanket over her shoulders, 
resembled no object more closely than a bear. 

He was naturally much distressed, and eventually recom- 
pensed her relatives handsomely for the bereavement he 
had so unwillingly caused them, so that in the end she 
proved more profitable dead than alive. However, the 
matter eventually got into the native papers, which 
violently demanded that " the murderer " should be 
sentenced to death and that his execution should take place 
on the scene of the tragedy ! 

While on the subject of accidents in connection with 
bear shooting, I may mention another one I heard of later, 
which ought to have ended as fatally, but fortunately did 
not. Two district officials out after a bear, were posted 
on trees at some distance from each other. As the beaters 
'. the senior of the two sportsmen, who was very 
rd, and moreover rather deaf, saw something 
black moving in the jungle at some little distance from his 
post, and thinking it was the bear, promptly fired at it, 
evoking a response from the object which to his imperfect 
hearing seemed to be the cry of an animal in pain. 

" What, not dead yet ? " he exclaimed, and under the 
impression he had only wounded the beast — whereas he 
had missed it altogether — he fired the second barrel, and 
unfortunately with better success, for this time the response 
was louder, and in a voice which he now recognized as 
""riiistakably human. 

lie now realized what had happened, and horrified at 

"I that he had perhaps killed, or at an} rate 

>()nie native living in the neighbourhood, he 

clambered down the tree and ran up to the spot where he 

'« "1 fallen. 

Here he found, not a native as he had imagined, but 

II companion, lying on the ground, almost un- 

tis and bleeding profusely from a bullet wound in 

the shoulders, but mercifully too high up to be likely to 

"• >ve serious. 

He bandaged the wound up tightly with bis kunuuerbund, 

68 



■ 



TIGER SLAYER BY ORDER 

which happily stopped the flow of blood, and wetting 
the bandage with water from a stream near at hand, ran 
off to a neighbouring village, whence he returned shortly 
with a palki and some bearers to convey the wounded man 
to camp. 

He found him quite conscious again, and able to explain 
how the accident had occurred. It appeared that while 
waiting for the beaters to come up, he had suddenly espied 
what looked to him like the footprints of a bear under his 
tree. Forgetting the risk he ran, and unwittingly adding 
to it by not removing a thick black ulster he had on, he 
climbed down and was stooping to examine the marks more 
closely when he felt the bullet strike him. 

Fortunately, as it happened, the bullet was an ordinary 
one, fired from a smooth bore, hence the wound was not 
serious and eventually healed up, but the bullet was never 
extracted, and though he made a complete recovery, he 
carried it in his shoulder to his death, which occurred from 
natural causes many years later. 

This incident should be a warning to all sportsmen never 
to leave their posts until the last beater has come up, for 
there is not only the danger from the tiger lying up, until 
he is almost trodden on, but, as in the instance quoted, of 
the rash sportsman being made a target of himself. I 
have known of even experienced sportsmen nearly coming to 
grief in this way. 

Before we broke up the Christmas camp I have referred 
to, we had a most unpleasant experience with some bees, 
which I must relate if only to prove how dangerous the 
stings from these insects can be. 

One day during our afternoon siesta we were roused by 
a terrible commotion in the camp caused, as we learnt later, 
by a police sepo}'^ lighting his cooking fire under a tree in 
which there happened to be several nests of bees. 

In a moment our quiet, peaceful camp was transformed 
into a veritable pandemonium, many large swarms having 
been roused by the smoke from this fire. I ran out at 
once and cut the heel ropes of the horses, being horribly 
stung about the face and hands during the process, for 
the little brutes hung on to me like bulldogs. One of the 
ladies in the camp wisely sought refuge under the mosquito 
64 



RESCUE A DPnwvTNG WOMAN 

curtain of the bed, and so escaped, but the rest of us, 

including her husband, were all badly stung. 

But the strangest part of the proceedings was that 

while all the human beings who were stung eventually 

recovered, two of our horses actually died from the effects 

of the stings. True, both these animals had been very 

severely bitten, yet one would hardly have imagined that 

strong, comparatively thick-skinned animal like a horse, 

I uuld be killed by the sting of so small an insect as a bee, 

however severely stung. It would be interesting to know 

whether such a case has been heard of before, though so 

far as my own experience goes, I believe it to be unique, 

I would not have recorded it, for to be attacked by bees 

IS by no means an unconmion experience when in camp or 

in the jungles. 

« « * * * 

Khandesh was periodically visited by heavy floods, 
which often carried away small villages situated on the 
banks of the Tapti river, and it was during one of its flooded 
periods that I met with a somewhat exciting, not to say 
dangerous, adventure. 

I was moving my camp that day, and, on my way to 
the next encampment, was riding along the banks of the 
river mentioned, which at the moment was rushing like a 
torrent, when, amongst all the timl)er and different refuse 

ceping past, I noticed what I took to be a chatte * 

'bbing up and down in the stream about forty yards off. 
Examining it more carefully, I saw that it was a human 
liead, and from the length of the hair on it, evidently that 
of a woman. On the impulse of the moment, and foolishly, 

rhaps, I spurred my horse into the river, but it was 
swept away from under me immediately and carried down 
the stream. 

Left to swim alone, I managed with some diflioiilty to 
' lutch the woman, and holding her up as best 1 could, we 

'Tc swept some distance do^^-n, till we reached some 
shallow water, when, finding I had got a footing, I drew 
her on to the bank close to a village, where I found ray 

)rsc, which the villagers had caught. 

* Earthen pot for CAnying w»ter. 

r es 



TIGER SLAYER BY ORDER 

They soon lighted a fire, and by means of hot bricks 
and much vigorous rubbing, we eventually brought the 
woman round, for she was very nearly gone. However, 
once she was restored to consciousness, she was not long 
in making use of the faculties she had regained, though not 
exactly in the manner I expected. 

Getting up on to her feet, she first shook herself just 
as a spaniel does when it lands after retrieving from the 
water, then, to my amazement, turned on me, using every 
abusive epithet she could think of, till her vocabulary 
being apparently exhausted, she went off. 

The reason for this extraordinary, and seemingly un- 
provoked attack upon me was, I discovered afterwards, 
that, intending to commit suicide, she had thrown herself 
into the river, hence, so far from being grateful to me for 
having rescued her, she was exceedingly annoyed at what 
she probably considered my unwarrantable interference. 
Whether she eventually succeeded in accomplishing her 
object, I cannot say, but I noticed that when she went 
away it was not in the direction of the river ! Possibly 
she had found drowning as a mode of self-destruction not 
so enjoyable as she had probably imagined it to be. 



I have now come to the period of my service when, on 
the retirement of Colonel Probyn and the appointment 

of his successor. Colonel W , as District Superintendent 

of Police, I, though still an Assistant Superintendent, was, 
at the recommendation of the former, appointed in addition 
as permanent Bhil Agent, which office also included, as I 
have before stated, that of Tiger Slayer. 

Somewhere about this time, too, the Bombay Govern- 
ment, thinking it desirable that the Bhil Agent should 
live absolutely among the Bhils, a place called Nundobar 
was fixed upon as my headquarters, where an old mosque, 
on the summit of a hill, was converted into a bungalow. 

This old building had the reputation of being haunted, 
and once on my return from tour I found my orderly, who 
had been left in charge, in a semi-conscious condition, 
his teeth clenched and presenting all the appearance of 
having suffered some severe mental shock. 
66 



LIFE AT NUNDOBAR: CHOLERA 

On recovering he solemnly informed me that he awakened 
in the night and had seen an old man with a long grey 
beard walking up and down, who, on being challenged, 
had melted into space ! An over-indulgence in his evening 
meal of rice was probably the origin of this apparition ; 
anyway it was never seen again, nor were we ever troubled 
by any other ghosts. 

My life at Nundobar was necessarily a solitary one, for 
except when a man or two came out to me for sport, I 
never saw a European. However, I was perfectly happy, 
living amongst the Bhils, and being in excellent health 
too, had no reason to complain. 

What with my police and tiger-slaying duties, I had not 
much time to myself, but occasionally took a morning or 
afternoon off for coursing, both jackals and foxes being 
very numerous in the plains below my bungalow. The 
going was excellent too, and I had some first-rate Persian 
greyhounds, which I had purchased from the stables in 
Bombay when buying remounts for the troop of Mounted 
Police. 

Nevertheless, my life was not all ** beer and skittles," 
to use perhaps a vulgar, but most expressive, phrase, for 
we had once a very bad visitation of cholera, which swept 
away most of the inhabitants of a village some three mUes 
from my bungalow, and though in my own establishment 
1 took every precaution, I lost two orderlies and my cook, 
tlie last a serious blow ! 

This man and his wife were both attacked at the same 
time, and attended by the native apothecary, who, however, 
was struck down himself the next morning and died. 
The woman recovered, owing possibly to brandy and cliloro- 
dyne, which, being now without a medical expert, I pre- 
scribed and administered in large doses. 

But — such is the curious working of the native mind — 

?^hc was no sooner convalescent and able to get about, than 

^he came up to my bungalow and insisted I should present 

r with a new "sari,"* declaring that I had ruined the 

• ap])ear8 that in administering my remedies I had 
* flnUitng worn by natiT* iroa«i. 

er 



TIGER SLAYER BY ORDER 

spilled some of the mixture over her sari and stained it ! 
The fact that I had done this in my attempt to save her 
life was, apparently in her estimation, no excuse for 
damaging her clothes. 

Battling with epidemic, however, was not my only 
trouble in those days, for in the process of the amalgama- 
tion of the Bhil Corps with the Kliandesh Constabulary, 
which took place during this period, I had considerable 
difficulties with the men ; the rearrangement of pay and 
grades, etc., as well as the fear of losing distinction as a 
separate corps, causing great dissatisfaction amongst the 
latter. 

Finally matters became so serious that I had the ring- 
leaders up before me, and after inquiring fully into their 
grievance, summarily dismissed ten of their number. 
These measures, though decidedly somewhat drastic, had, 
however, the effect of quashing what might otherwise 
have developed into a serious mutiny. 

Shortly afterwards, happening to be staying at Govern- 
ment House at the time, his Excellency questioned me on 
the subject, adding that he had received a number of 
petitions in connection with their dismissals. However, 
being fortunately able to satisfy him as to the necessity 
for acting as I had done, he was good enough not only to 
uphold my action, but to compliment me. 



To the north of my bungalow at Nundobar was a long 
range of hills, covered with dense cactus bushes, affording 
good shelter for such animals as bear, leopard, and wild 

pig- 
Riding out early one morning with a sowar * on the 
chance of coming across a boar, I came suddenly on a huge 
panther in the open. He had killed a chinkara,t and was 
lying up under the shelter of some bushes. 

On seeing me he made off at once for the hillside some 
sixty yards distant ; but as I was riding an exceptionally 
staunch horse, and the ground was fairly level, I thought it 
an excellent opportunity — especially as the sowar was 

* Police trooper. t Bavin© deer. 

68 



"RIDING A PANTHER" 

carrying my hog-spear — of trying my hand at spearing a 
panther off horseback. 

Telling the man to follow me, I started after the beast 
at once at racing speed, for the distance was short, and I 
knew that if he reached the hill before me I was done. 
Fortunately, my horse being as fast as he was plucky, 
we won, and I was about to lower the spear for a thrust 
when the panther, now scarcely his length in front of me, 
stopped suddenly and crouched. 

Going at the pace we were, I had neither time to check 
my speed nor to drop the point of my spear, which, as we 
flashed past him, merely glanced harmlessly over the 
panther's back, and before I could pull up and wheel round, 
the beast had reached some rocks, where it was impossible 
to follow him. 

Meanwhile my orderly, having come to grief over a dry 
watercourse, had had a nasty fall, the horse rolling over 
him. He was accordingly literally hors de combat, and had 
been so for some time. I was greatly disappointed at 
not getting the panther, at the same time I quite realized 
that he had come very near to getting me instead, for 
crouched as he was all ready for a spring, had I wounded 
him in passing, he would certainly have sprung on to 
me. 

The panther, always a dangerous animal, is never more 
so tlian when crouching, for its hind legs, being then doubled 
up beneath it, act like springs under compression, it can 
bound from this position in a second, and to a distance 
almost inconceivable in an animal of its size and weight. 
Then again, to inflict a fatal wound on a panther with a 
spear from horseback, is not so easy, for the skin fits so 
loosely that unless the thrust is delivered absolutely at 
right angles to the body, which is seldom possible, the 
point of the spear, instead of penetrating the flesh, will 
often pass between it and the skin, thus inflicting a 
painful, but not necessarily a fatal or even incapacitating 
wound. 

Thus it will be seen that spearing panthers from horse- 
back is, on the whole, a dangerous form of sport. At any 
rate, it is one in which the hunter and the hunted arc more 
equally matched than in any other contest between if^f^n 

^* 69 



TIGER SLAYER BY ORDER 

and beast ; in fact, the odds, if any, are possibly in favour 
of the latter. 

Nevertheless, in spite of the risks attending it, or more 
probably because of them, there is no kind of hunting done 
on horseback — pig-sticking even not excepted — more 
attractive to the sportsman than " riding a panther," as 
this form of sport is sometimes called. 

But alas ! so far as this portion of the country is con- 
cerned, there are now no panthers left to ride, nor game of 
any kind to course or shoot. The Tapti Valley Railway 
now runs through Nundobar, and has long since scared 
away all game for miles around, as the advent of railways 
always does. 

Many years later, while travelling by this line, I passed 
the scene of my early wanderings, and was shocked to see 
the change. The old haunted bungalow was still there, 
but the well-stocked jungles and hunting-grounds I 
remembered had, under the axe and plough, all passed 
away for ever. Sic transit gloria mundi I might well 
have cried, for truly all its glory had departed from the 
landl 



70 



CHAPTER X 

My dutiee as tiger slayer — Panthers included — Some deecription of them 
— Variety of the species — Size, weight, and markings — What they 
prey on — Climbing powers — ^Their courage and ferocity in attack 
— ^How they feed on their kills — ^Man-eating leopards—The black 
panther rare — The cheetah — Panthers difficult to locat« — Returning 
to their kills — Dangerous to follow up — An experiment with buck- 
shot — S.S.G. best for close quarters — Panther unexpectedly en- 
countered — My shikari attacked and mauled — A huge beast — 
Another panther hunt — Attacks and mauls beater — Its final charge 
— Finished with S.8.A. — The uncertainty of sport — Killed with a 
single shot — Handsomely marked skins — An unusual sight^ — Tiger 
and panther seen together — Abject terror of the latter — Slinking off 
into the jungle — A tiger's sovereignty of the jungles — ^The wild boar 
excepted — Uncertainty the fascination of Indian sport — An un- 
expected meeting with a bear — Bagged — Capture the cub — Becomes 
quite tame in time — Walking out with the dogs — A leopard adventure 
in Bengal — Shooting for the pot — A partridge shot — Retrieving the 
bird — Sudden appearance of a leopard—Changing cartridges — 
Leopard dropped but still alive — Attempts to charge — No mote ball 
cartridge — On the honw of a dilemma — My ordwly'B ingeonity — 
An extemporised projectile — Complete suooess. 

Although the main object of my appointment as tiger 
slayer was, naturally, the destruction of these particular 
animals, yet, though not ofTicially stated, the office was 
intended to include the reduction of all other beasts of prey 
dangerous to human life or cattle, especially leopards or 
panthers, as they arc equally often termed. 

As these animals are actually far more destructive to 
cattle and goats, and more numerous, too, than tigers, I 
was as assiduous in my efforts to destroy them and experi- 
enced many an exciting adventure while in their pursuit. 
Before relating some of these, however, it would perhaps 
be as well to give a short description of these animals and 
their ways, for although nuich of what I have said regarding 
tigers applies also to the leopard, yet there are many 
points on which the two animals differ ver>' materially. 

The great variety in their species render classification 

71 



TIGER SLAYER BY ORDER 

very difficult, but except in the case of the black leopard 
the difference is practically only in size, the larger variety 
in India being, rightly or wrongly, generally spoken of as 
panthers. Some naturalists, I believe, are of opinion that 
a panther and leopard are of two distinct species, claiming 
that the skulls of the two are somewhat different in 
shape, but though I have compared many a score I have 
never been able to detect any difference between any two, 
large and small. 

A leopard, or panther, varies in size from six to eight 
feet in length, the last being very rare, and weighs between 
160 and 180 pounds. His colouring is too well known to 
need description. In the smaller animal the black spots 
are closer together than in the larger beast ; hence the 
latter often appears to be of a lighter colour when seen in 
the jungles. 

Like the tiger, the skin of the leopard grows fainter in 
colour as the animal increases in years. Leopards frequent 
belts of jungle, rocky hills, and caverns, from the last of 
which it is generally most difficult to dislodge them. 

They are, as I have already mentioned, far more destruc- 
tive to the smaller cattle and goats than tigers, often coming 
into a village to carry off a goat or calf, and are also specially 
attracted by dogs, which they have been known to carry 
off from the verandah of a bungalow, and even from inside 
a tent. 

Leopards, too, are capable of climbing trees, which they 
can go up as easily as cats,* and are often to be found lying 
hidden among leaves and overhanging branches, on the 
look-out for monkeys, which, in spite of their activity, 
they occasionally secure. 

Though less powerful in attack than a tiger, the leopard 
is, I consider, a far more dangerous animal for the sports- 
man to encounter, as he is more easily provoked to anger 
and exceedingly courageous in his retaliation. I have been 
repeatedly charged by these animals, and on two occasions 
have had my men mauled by them. 

In eating his " kills " a leopard, unlike the tiger, seldom 
attacks the hindquarters first, but almost invariably tears 

* See " Life in the Indian Police," p. 213, by the author. 

72 



LEOPARDS AND CHEETAH 

open the belly — making his meal off the intestines — covering 
up the remaining portion with leaves, etc., to keep for later 
consumption. 

Man-eating leopards are happily rare, for when one 

happens to take to killing human beings, he is far more to 

^'^ dreaded than any other man-eating animal, and his 

i<;tims may nm to a score or two — sometimes many 

more." * 

The black leopard or panther is very rarely met with, 
these animals generally confining themselves to thick forest 
beyond the haunts of men. I have never had the good 
fortune to come across one ; but have seen the skins, which 
are of uniform dull black colour, the spots showing in 
particular lights only. 

Another distinct variety is the snow leopard found 
throughout the Himalayas at great elevations. It is 
beautifully marked of a silver grey colour with darker 
:>ots, the fur being long and very soft. 

The cheetah or hunting leopard, though often errone- 
ously classed amongst leopards is quite a different species ; 
in fact, a different animal altogether. He is small in the 
loins like a greyhound, and his claws, though long, are not 
retractile, neither arc they curved to the same extent 
as are others of the genus Feli. The cheetah, moreover, 
unlike the real leopjard, is apparently easily tamed and 
taught to hunt antelope, for which purpose they are kept 
by native princes of India. 

Unlike the tiger, the leopard is very difficult to mark 
iiown. He seldom remains near his kill, preferring some 
distant ravine or adjacent hill. It is only by watching 
over a goat or cnU tied up as bait, that there is any certainty 
of bringing him to bag. Still, I have shot a great number 
r them, but mostly over animals which they had just 
Killed. 

But although the leopard does not always remain near 
his kill, he usually returns to it at dusk for a second meal ; 
btit as he sometimes puts in an appearance much sooner, 

is advisable for the sportsnuin to take up his position 
> irly in the afternoon, either on a tree or behind some 

* See the author's Uwt woric, *' TigMkn. 

78 



TIGER SLAYER BY ORDER 

natural barrier, such as a thick bush. But the watcher 
must be careful not to move or make the slightest noise, 
as the leopard is most wary and cautious in approaching 
his kill. 

In following up a wounded leopard, the very greatest 
caution is always necessary, as the most practised eye 
cannot discover these animals unless they are on the 
move, their colour assimilating so perfectly to the ground 
and jungle they are in as to render them practically 
invisible. 

It is this peculiarity which makes a wounded leopard so 
dangerous an animal to follow, for the sportsman may be 
quite close to him and yet be quite unaware of the fact 
till he charges, which he will certainly do in nine cases out 
of ten and with a courage and ferocity far exceeding that 
of a tiger, and is, moreover, so quick in his movements that 
he is extremely difficult to kill, as he is also a very small 
target to aim at. 

When shooting on one occasion with Probyn and 

W of the Civil Service, we had marked down a panther 

in the bed of a river close to our camp. By the shouts of 
the beaters, we soon knew the beast was started, and pre- 
sently it came out and stood facing us about twenty yards 

distant, Probyn and myself being on foot and W on a 

tree on the opposite bank. 

As soon as the panther appeared, Probyn whispered 
to me that he would take the shot, as he was anxious to 
try the effects of buck-shot on one of these animals, and 
this was an excellent opportunity. On the report of the 
gun the panther charged, with lightning rapidity, straight 
for the smoke. 

When within five paces, however, he swerved to the 
right, and I shot him through the shoulder with my Rigby. 
Nevertheless, he managed to reach a patch of cypress into 
which he disappeared. We had an elephant out with us, 
and mounting it, cautiously approached the spot, where we 
found him lying dead. 

On skinning the beast later we found that some of the 
pellets had pierced the lungs, which no doubt would eventu- 
ally have killed him. 

The cartridge (Kynoch's brass) was loaded with 5 drams 
74 



MY SHIKARI MAULED BY A LEOPARD 

of powder and IG mould or S.S.G. shot. Since then I 
invariably used S.S.G. in the left barrel in following 
up wounded panthers ; at close quarters it is most 
'fective. 

On another occasion, when out beating for hog at Ner 
(ivhandesh), I came suddenly upon a huge panther, as 
large nearly as a small tiger, which was quietly trotting 
out towards a small, rocky hill about two hundred yards 
distant. 

Snatching a Snider carbine from my sowar who was 
with me, I galloped after the beast and made a lucky shot 
from the saddle, crippling him behind, on which he laid 
up in a small bush a short way ahead. 

My men now coming up, I dismounted and we walked 
up to the bush, when the panther, with one boimd, was on 
the top of my shikari Etoo, then a ha\'ildar in the corps, 
hanging on to his shoulder with his teeth. I could not fire 
for fear of killing the man, so seizing a spear from my s\'ce, 
I drove it with both hands through the panther's side, 
killing him at once. 

Etoo was badly mauled about the arms and shoulder, 
but being only some sixteen miles from Dhulia, I was able 
to despatch him the same afternoon to the hospital, where 
under skilful medical treatment he eventually recovered 
rompletely from his wounds. 

This panther measured eight feet — an exceptionally 

Lj measurement — and was very old and light in colour. 

At this same camp I had wounded a panther with a 

snap shot in the foot, and on following up his tracks, 

found him crouching in a thick coriander bush in the bed 

a river. 

On going roimd the bush to get a better view, his head 
and shoulders being partly hidden by some boughs, he 
suddenly cliarged out and knocked over my gim-bearer, 
'^tripping him of ray shikar bag and water-bottle. 

He now got further into the bush, and we were con- 
sidering how best to attack him. when out he came again 
with a savage roar, and striking down a man to my right, 
inflicted two deep wounds in his thigh. So quick had 
^•♦'♦>n his movements on both occasions that I had no time 
. lire. 

75 



TIGER SLAYER BY ORDER 

We now retreated to some distance, and on one of my 
men firing into the thicket, under my direction, the 
panther again, for the third time, charged out straight 
for the guns, when I met him with a charge of S.S.G. in 
the face, killing him at once. 

This panther measured seven feet two inches, and was 
the most determinedly aggressive of any I have ever come 
across, and furnished a good example of the ferocity these 
animals are capable of displaying when roused. 

And yet — such is the glorious uncertainty of sport — even 
a leopard, savage as they almost invariably are, can some- 
times be bagged with as little difficulty as a rabbit or a 
hare, as the following incident will show. 

I was once watching over the remains of a young 
buffalo, which had been killed by a large panther, when I 
suddenly heard the beast behind me making that curious 
rasping, grating sound peculiar to these animals. 

So dense was the cover, however, that I could not see 
him, and being on foot, with no better shelter than a light 
screen of bushes between us, I naturally felt somewhat 
uncomfortable. Presently the noise ceased and I was 
wondering whether, having seen or scented me, he had 
sneaked off, when he leisurely walked out into the open 
from a bush opposite to me and only about five yards 
off. 

I felt at once that I had him, so quietly raising the 
rifle to my shoulder, I fired, planting my bullet, as I found 
later, exactly in the centre of his chest, and of course 
killing him on the spot. He was a fine, handsome beast, 
and with a beautifully marked skin, which I had much 
pleasure in adding to my collection. For there is probably 
no finer sporting trophy to be obtained than a perfect 
leopard skin, that is one taken from an animal shot while 
in its prime, and preferably towards the end of the cold 
season, when the fur is at its longest and best. Though 
less imposing in respect of size than that of a tiger, it 
presents a handsomer appearance, possibly by reason of a 
more equal blending of the colours. 

Nevertheless, when seen together in the jungle — a sight 
which I had once the good fortune to witness — the leopard 
in spite of the greater beauty of its colourings, sinks into 
76 



THE TIGER AND THE LEOPARD 

absolute insignificance as compared with the grand, awe- 
inspiring appearance of a tiger. 

The incident I refer to happened in this wise. I was 
on this occasion beating for a tiger and had taken up my 
position on a tree. Presently, as the beaters approached, 
a panther came out of the jungle and stood under my tree, 
but I was not to be tempted. Shortly afterwards the tiger, 
being also roused by the noise of the beaters, came along 
by the path taken by the other, and though it must have 
seen it, seemed to take no notice of the panther. 

On the latter, however, the meeting had an immediate, 
and seemingly, most disquieting effect, for no sooner had 
it become aware of the tiger's presence, than down it 
crouched, and putting its tail between its legs — as a cat 
might do when confronted by a mastiff — slunk off into the 
jungle, evidently in terror of its life and anxious to escape 
from its perilous position. 

And yet it seemed almost incredible that a panther, of 
all wild animals the most daring and ferocious, should be 
so easily cowed, and by a beast, which even though its 
superior in size, is no match for it in courage or ferocity, 
but apparently the tiger's terrifying appearance had 
paralyzed these faculties for the moment. 

At the same time it must not be imagined that of all 

the larger animals which infest the Indian jungles, the 

panther stands alone in this respect, for with the exception 

of the wild boar perhaps, there is probably no animal, from 

the mighty elephant downwards, which would not rather 

oid a tiger than meet one face to face. 

However, be this as it may, it was an interesting sight 

have witnessed this meeting of these two beasts, for 

iL is seldom that a sportsman has the luck to see any other 

animal than the one he is pursuing, and not always does 

he succeed in viewing even thiit ; yet it is just these unknown 

possibilities which lend to Indian shooting the fascination 

it possesses for the sportsman. 

I^K For example, I remember strolling out from camp one 

IHnnday evening with a couple of Bliil, luid ray 10- bore 

Paradox gun, to pick up, if possible, a pea-fowl for the 

pot. 

Entering a deni»e bit of ground with a jungle path down 

77 



I 



TIGER SLAYER BY ORDER 

the middle of it, we saw a bear walking leisurely towards 
us down this path. As she had not seen us, we slipped 
quietly aside and concealed ourselves behind some bushes. 
The bear, meanwhile, came slowly on, and when within 
ten yards or so, I fired, and the heavy paradox bullet 
entering behind the shoulder, she — for it proved to be a 
she-bear — ^fell stone dead in her tracks. On going up to 
her, a cub which she was carrj'ing on her back, suddenly 
detaching itself from the carcass, scrambled off. We gave 
chase at once, and after some difficulty secured the little 
beast by throwing a blanket over it. It became perfectly 
tame in time and used to accompany me when I went out 
for a walk with the dogs, playing about with them as if one 
of themselves. 



Another somewhat similar adventure once happened 
to a friend of mine in Bengal. One evening, shortly before 
dusk, he went out on a pad elephant to shoot a partridge 
or two for dinner, in a jungle close to camp. He got his 
first bird at once, and a little later dropped another, which 
his orderly was Just getting off to pick up, when suddenly 
from almost under the elephant's feet, up jumped a large 
leopard, which, rushing through the lighter jungle, entered 
a thicker bit a little way ahead. 

My friend, like most experienced Indian sportsmen, always 
carried a couple of ball cartridge in his pocket, but though 
he did not know it, it so happened that on this occasion he 
had only one. However, inserting this into the empty 
chamber, he quickly followed up the leopard, and, catching 
sight of it again, dropped it, as he thought, dead. 

He watched a minute or two to make quite sure, then 
as it gave no sign of life, he ordered the mahout to take 
his elephant up to where it lay ; but in spite of the man's 
efforts, the animal refused to advance ; in fact, showed a 
decided inclination to retire. 

Meanwhile the leopard, which so far from being dead, 
was apparently very much alive, now moved its head above 
the jungle, and growling savagely, made desperate attempts 
to charge, but was evidently powerless to do so, which 
seemed to incense it all the more. 
78 



AX EXTEMPORISED PROJECTILE 

It was only now that my friend discovered he had no 
more ball cartridges left, but knowing that if near enough, 
he could finish off the animal with a charge of No. 6, he 
tried again to make the elephant advance, but with no 
better success, and as it was now getting dark, he decided 
to get off. 

To walk up to a wounded leopard w^ith a weapon charged 
with shot was, as he knew, a risky thing to do, but he felt 
he could not leave the beast to linger through the night 
in pain, so was resolved to take the risk. 

Fortunately at this moment his orderly was suddenly 
inspired with an idea, which he proceeded to demonstrate 
at once. Extracting the shot from a cartridge, he tore a 
strip from his pugri, and putting the pellets into it, rolled 
them up tightly into a ball, then replacing the charge, 
handed the cartridge to his master. 

The latter, quick to sec the possibilities of this extem- 
porised projectile, lost no time in testing it, and the next 
time the leopard raised its head, in its attempt to charge, 
he fired, killing it on the spot, for as he found later, the 
charge had sped like a bullet, but scattering on impact 
had made a frightful wound, an inch or two below the 
ear. His first bullet, he now discovered, had hit the animal 
in the back, and grazing the spine, had paralyzed the 
hindquarters, thus accounting for its inabihty to charge. 




70 



CHAPTER XI 

Take three months' leave — A shooting trip to Central Provinces — A fine 
shooting country — Local shikaris — A monster tiger bagged — Hear 
of many bears— Sitting up at night — A great fusillade — Sui*prising 
result — My feat with a '360 — Hitting the right spot — A fine bison 
brought to bag — Stalking a herd — Within ten yards of a bull — A 
tempting shot — Taking a risk — The 'SeO scores again — Astonishing 
my friends — A remarkable performance — Small bores not suitable 
for big game — Exceptional cases — The Indian bison — Where to be 
found — Average size of — General appearance — Description of the 
horns — Difference bet^t-een buUs and cows — Difficult to approach — 
SoUtary bulls — Savage and morose — Stalking two bulls — Risking a 
shot — *' Missed ! " — A long chase — Come upon them at last — Off 
again — Another long chase — Found once more — A right and left — 
Doubt as to result — Following up — A pleasing surprise — Both found 
dead — Camping out for the night- — A favourite resort for bison — 
Encounter with a soUtary bull — The first shot — Following up tracks 
— A determined charge — Effects of an 8-bore — Why solitary bulls 
are savage — Dangerous not only to sportsmen — Expelled from herds 
— Sohtary' wild elephants and buffalo. 

In the early part of the year 1888, I took three months' 

leave and accompanied by I D of the Civil 

Service, and T-: S of the Public Works Department, 

went on a shooting trip to the Central Provinces. 

This part of India had not been much shot over in 
those days, hence we had some excellent sport, our bag, 
as far as I remember, amounting to eleven tigers, three 
panthers, six bear, besides several buffalo and bison. 

We took a party of the Bhil Corps with us, and were 
therefore independent of the local shikaris, though we 
found the Ghonds * excellent beaters, and very useful 
in the matter of supplying information of tigers, etc., in 
the neighbourhood. 

We were greatly assisted, too, by the Forest Officer of 
the Chanda District, who, poor fellow, was shortly after- 
wards killed by a buffalo. 

* A local tribe. 
80 



BEAR SHOOTING BY NIGHT 

Of the eleven tigers we bagged, one, which fell to my 
rifle, measured ten feet two inches, the record so far as my 
own shooting is concerned, for I have never shot one 
bigger, and yet, strangely enough, it gave me less trouble 
to secure than many considerably smaller. 

I had taken up my position in a tree overlooking a dry 
watercourse, and as the beaters approached, the animal 
came walking down this nullah. As he was passing the 
tree I fired, and at the shot, which struck him high up in 
the shoulder, he gave a savage roar, and springing up the 
bank close under my very tree, was looking to right and 
left in search of his hidden foe, when I dropped him with 
the second barrel. 

He was a very old tiger, light in colour, and, I remember, 
much scarred about the face, possibly the scars from wounds 
received in combat with others of his kind, or in a battle 
with a boar. 

At one of our camps in the Chanda District, we heard of 
a number of bears in the neighbourhood, and as they were 

said to frequent a pool of water near the tents, D and 

I decided to sit up for them, so had a machan * erected, 
and taking our blankets, settled down for the night. 

Soon after dark, and just as the moon was rising, we 
heanl a couple of bears on the hill opposite us, makir^ a 
fiendish noise, evidently engaged in an amorous encounter. 

A little later one of them — or so we assumed, for we 

could only make out a moving mass of black — came down 

to the water and was sent off screaming with a broken 

shoulder in the direction whence it came. After this we 

! ried on a fusillade for the greater part of the night, taking 

crnate chances. I forget how many shots we fired between 
us, but I know we only bagged one bear I 

I dislike night shooting, and this was the last but one 
: occasion — when I missed a tiger — that I have ever indulged 
I m this kind of sp>ort. 

One day we were beating a strip of jungle for sambar, 
' or anything else that might turn up, when a bear came 
, shuffling along a narrow path opposite my position. 

Thinking this a good opportunity for trying the effect 
i of my little '860 Express on one of these animals I took a 

* Fbtfofm. 
M Q 81 



TIGER SLAYER BY ORDER 

careful aim for his shoulder and fired, the distance being 
about ten yards. At the shot the bear spun round, and made 
short rushes in all directions, growling savagely the while. 

I now blazed into him as fast as I could load, telling 
my shikari, who had my heavy rifle, that he was on no 
account to fire unless the bear got hold of me in the scuffle, 
and in the end I managed to kill him with a shot in the 
temple. 

Since then, as will be seen later, I have killed a bull 
bison with this little rifle, thus proving that, providing an 
animal is hit in the right spot, a light rifle is as deadly as 
a heavier weapon, no matter what the size of the beast 
may be. The rifle in question was built by Henry of 
Edinburgh, for that well-known sportsman the late Colonel 
Baigree. 

A few days after my adventure with this bear, S 

bagged a very fine bull bison. It took two men to bring in 

his head, and as I told S at the time, although I was 

well satisfied with my ten feet two inches tiger, I would 
willingly have exchanged with him for that grand old bull, 
whose measurements I never capped, though I have shot 
many of these animals since. 

Of these, the most notable, though not in point of size, 
was the one I have just referred to as having shot with the 
•360 rifle. The incident happened in the Satpudas, where 
I was shooting on one occasion with Captain, now Colonel, 

P , whom I had known well when attached to his 

regiment, the 19th Bombay Infantry. 

We were encamped in the depths of the jungle, far 
away from any human habitation. The jungle cocks were 
crowing as we turned out in the morning and ascended 
the mountain, accompanied by our beaters, to look for 
sambar. 

Hardly had we separated with the intention of watching 
different passes or " runs " accessible to the deer, when 
Bapu, my shikari, pointed to some dull objects far away in 
the valley below us. My field-glasses told me they were 
bison, and we at once commenced a stalk. 

There was one bull and four cows in the herd, and the 
wind being favourable, I crawled up to a bamboo clump 
within ten yards of them. I had my heavy rifle, also the 
82 



A REMARKABLE PERFORMANCE 

•860 Express, which I invariably carried with me in case 
I came across any pea-fowl, etc. 

The bull was standing broadside on, exposing his neck 
and shoulder in such a way as to ensure a deadly shot, and 
tempted by this, I decided to use the smaller weapon. 
Taking a most careful aim about three inches behind the 
ear, I pressed the trigger. 

Instantaneously, as if struck by lightning, the mighty 
beast fell dead. It seemed almost incredible, but there it 
lay, absolutely motionless. However, knowing that I 
should have some difficulty in convincing my friend, I 
cut off its tail, then going back to him, made him put his 
finger down the muzzle of my heavy rifle, then look down 
the barrel of the other, and when I saw that he was satisfied 
I had used the latter, I produced the tail ! 

On going up to the animal, we found a minute hole, 
hardly perceptible where the Uttle bullet had entered. 
Nevertheless, small as it was, it had divided the jugular 
vein in two, thus causing instantaneous death. 

This was the most remarkable instance of a large and 
powerful animal being killed by a single shot, and from 
so small a rifle, that I had ever seen or heard of and only 
proves, as I have said, how much depends on the placing 
of the shot. 

At the same time, I do not mean by this to advocate 
I he general use of small-bore rifles for such large game, as it 
must be remembered that this was quite an exceptional 
case, for the odds against obtaining a quiet, steady shot 
at so short a distance as ten yards are probably about 
a hundrwl to one, especially in the case of a bison, which 
is an extremely wary beast and most difficult to get near. 

Nevertheless, there is no animal in the Indian jungle 
more worthy of the hunter's best efforts to secure, for the 
Indian bison * is truly a magnificent animal. It is found 
in all the larger forests and is fairly plentiful in Kanara, 
the Central Provinces, and on the bamboo-clad spurs of the 
Satpudas in Khandesh, where I have shot a considerable 
number. 

The average height of a bull is about six feet at the 
shoulder and its length from nine to ten feet. They are fd 
* IndiM biMm (Am Antm). 



TIGER SLAYER BY ORDER 

a dark copper colour, which in mature old bulls deepens 
to black. 

The legs, from the knee downwards, are of a dirty white 
colour, and also the forehead, which is covered with short, 
curly hair, while inside the thigh and forearm, the hair is 
bright chestnut. The head is square with a peculiar 
formation of the frontal bone which projects above, 
muzzle large and full, the eyes are blue and ears broad 
and fan-shaped. Neck short, heavy, and immensely 
powerful, ending in a chest broad, deep, and muscular. 

Above the back and immediately above the shoulders 
rises a ridge, which ends abruptly halfway down the back 
with a drop of nearly five inches in large bulls. The legs 
are short and thick, and the hoofs small for so large an 
animal and like those of a deer in shape. The tail is about 
thirty inches long with a tuft of hair at its extremity. 

The horns of the old bulls are massive, rugged, and 
indented at the base, and often worn out at the points. 
The cows are lighter in make and colour than the bulls, 
and their horns are more slender and upright with a more 
inward curvature, while the frontal ridge is scarcely per- 
ceptible. Finally, there is a peculiar smell about the whole 
animal like that of fresh herbs or thyme. Cow bisons 
calve in September, April, and May. Unlike the bulls, they 
are of a reddish-brown colour. 

Bison seldom form herds of more than twenty or thirty 
individuals. They feed on various grasses, bamboos, 
leaves, etc. They are extremely shy, and, as I have said, 
difficult to approach, their sense of smell being extra- 
ordinarily acute. 

The solitary bison is invariably an old bull, turned out 
of the herd by his more youthful rivals, and in conse- 
quence is savage and morose, but always a fine specimen 
of his race, and usually carries the best head. 

But to return to my narrative. I was shooting at 
Ghoramba (Satpudas) once, when early in the day, we came 
upon the tracks of two bull bison close to a pool of water, 
where they had evidently been drinking during the night. 
After two hours' tracking we came up with them, feeding 
in some dense bamboo jungle. 

Stalking to within twenty yards of them, I was about to 
84 



i 



A MOST SUCCESSFUL RIGHT AND LEFT 

fire at the largest when they winded us and made off, but 
following at a run, I got a snap shot at the leading bull and 
missed. 

I soon reiUized the mistake I had made in firing this 
hasty shot, for the animals were now thoroughly alarmed, 
and I knew it meant many hours of weary traeking before 
we could come up with them again. However, we took up 
the spoor over a grassy plateau, and at last, just as the sun 
was setting behind the hills, we sighted them, quietly 
browsing on the tender shoots of the bamboo in a valley 
below us. 

They were about a hundred yards away, and I was con- 
sidering how best to circumvent them, the breeze being very 
shifty, when there was a sudden crash — ^they had winded 
us and were off again. I ran for all I was worth to head 
them off, followed by my henchman Bapu, who wascarrj-ing 
my rifle. 

We went tejiring along down the steep incline and then 
along the ridge, both greatly out of breath, when coming 
to an opening in the forest, I suddenly sighted the two 
bulls standing about fifty yards to my right. Stretching 
out my right hand behind me, Bapu handed me the Express 
rifle, which was fortunately loaded with solid bullets. 

I now fired at the big bull ^vith the right barrel, aiming 
for the point of the shoulder, and emptied the left at his 
companion, when they both wheeletl round and disappeared 
into some dense covert ahead. I knew I had hit the first 
bull in the right spot, but was uncertain about the second, 
as his head and shoulders were partly hidden by a branch 
when I fired. However, following up the first by its blood 
tracks, we soon came upon him, and, to my delight, also 
the second, both lying dead within a few yards of each other ! 

It took some time and trouble to cut off the heads of 

these two monsters, and night had long set in before wc 

completed the operation, so collecting some wood, we lit a fire 

■••nd camped out for the night, our dinner consisting of bison 

i-ak cut from along the dorsal ridge of one of the two hulls. 

Ghoramba, at the time I am writing of — some twenty 
years ago — ^uscd to be a very favourite resort for bison, the 

intry being high and well wooded with extensive bamboo 
.iigles. 

85 



Ik 



TIGER SLAYER BY ORDER 

One of my later adventures with bison was an encounter 
I had with a solitary bull. I was out one morning with my 
Bhils, looking for game, when we came upon his tracks, 
and after going some distance, saw him grazing on an open 
glade about a hundred yards off. 

The jungle being only partially burnt, and the ground 
covered with dry teak leaves, made stalking very difficult. 
However, with care I managed to crawl up to within thirty 
yards of him, and kneeling behind a fallen tree, I fired. 
He staggered on receiving the shot, and we saw that one of 
his forelegs was disabled. 

He made off, however, so taking up the blood tracks, 
we presently came on him, standing behind a bamboo 
clump. As soon as he caught sight of us he rattled his 
horns against the bamboos, then pawing the ground for a 
moment, charged most determinedly. A shot from the 
8-bore I was using struck him exactly in the centre of the 
chest, and raking him from stem to stern, dropped him 
dead in his tracks. 

He was a splendid, old, solitary bull, the largest I had 
then killed, with a very fine head, and had evidently been 
engaged in many a fight, for he was very much battered 
and scarred all over. 

These solitary bulls are, as I have already said, invariably 
savage, because, having been driven out of the herd, they 
are forced to lead a lonely life, which seems to make them 
most vindictive and morose, and therefore dangerous, not 
only to sportsmen, but to any people residing in the neigh- 
bourhood whom they may happen to encounter. 

Unfortunately, too, this practice of expelling a turbulent 
male member from the herd is not confined to bison, but 
is also resorted to by wild elephants and buffalo, and with 
worse results, for while a solitary bull elephant, or rogue 
as he is called, is admittedly the most formidable animal 
in existence, a solitary bull buffalo runs him very close ; 
in fact, being possessed of greater cunning, is possibly 
the more dangerous of the two. 

A description of these animals, and of some of the 
adventures I have had with them, will be found in the 
next chapter. 

86 



CHAPTER XU 

The Indian wild bnfifalo — Its size, appearance and habitat — Dangers in 
tracking them up — An encounter with a solitary bull — A shot with a 
lO-bore rifle — Hit but not disabled — At bay — Effects of a second shot 
— ^Threatening to charge — A timely shot — Floored — A herd encoun- 
tered — Selecting the bull — Badly hit, but makes off — Found lying np 
— Dead or aUve? — The question unexpectedly solved — The advantage 
of being prepared — A shot in the chest — The last gallop — Buffalo 
shooting a dangerous pastime — Poor trophies as a rule— The Indian 
bear — A terror to the native — Attack without provocation — Many 
victims — Bears uncertain in temper — Effects of feeding on intoxicating 
berries — Dangerous to tackle— Vciy tenacious of life — Size and general 
appearance — Where found — The best plan for bear shooting — They 
afford good sport — Two narrow escapee — An exciting adventure — Xo 
room for two to pass — A lucky shot — The non-dangerous big game of 
India — First in size and importance — The sambar — Some description 
of this animal — A good head — A fine trophy — The bara-sing or swamp 
deer — Its resemblance to the red deer — The chetul or spotted deer 
— The handsomest of the doer tribe — The barking deer — The mouse 
and hog deer described. 

The Indian wild buffalo * is found in the swampy Terai, 
the plains of Lower Bengal, in Assam, Burmah, and 
ntral India. 

A bull buffalo often stands nineteen bands at the 
shoulder and measures as much as fifteen feet from nose to 
«''X)t of tail. His head is long and narrow, almost free from 
lir and of a dark, black, slaty colour ; the tail is short, 
and does not extend below the hocks. The horns are 
enormous, and have l>ecn known to exceed twelve feet 
measured round the curve from tip to tip. The females 
produce one, sometimes two, young, always in the summer 
season after a period of gestation of ten months. 

Buffalo delight in swamps, where they can o!)tain rich 
pasturage, and also wallow in the nmd during the hctit 
of the day. Unlike the bison, they never aaoend to 
heights. 

* BabtthuAnU, 

•7 



■ 



TIGER SLAYER BY ORDER 

In the Central Provinces, where I have shot them, they 
are found in the Sal forests and in the swampy plains, 
where the long, rank grass affords them both food and cover. 
Buffaloes are extremely vicious, more so than the bison, 
and when wounded, invariably charge. 

There is probably no animal in existence so determined, 
and if followed up when wounded, have a trick of turning 
off their course, and concealing themselves in some dense 
bush or high grass, when they will rush unexpectedly on 
the trackers ; hence are exceedingly dangerous to track up. 

When shooting in the Central Provinces, I was out one 
morning looking for bara-singi * accompanied by a Ghond 
shikari, when we came upon the fresh tracks of a solitary 
bull buffalo. After following the tracks some three miles, 
the animal suddenly jumped up in front of us out of a 
patch of high grass in which he had been lying. 

I was carrying a 10-bore rifle by Dixon, with which 
I fired immediately, aiming at the point of his shoulder. 
On receiving the shot, he lurched forward and made off into 
some thick bush, where he disappeared. 

Following the blood trail for about a hundred yards, 
we came upon him, standing behind a bush about a dozen 
yards to our front. On seeing us he trotted forward a 
few paces, and stood there, pawing the ground and looking 
altogether exceedingly unpleasant. 

I now fired at his chest, bringing him to his knees, but 
he was up again in a moment, and would probably have 
charged, but I ran in closer and floored him with a bullet 
in the neck. He had a very fine pair of horns, and as he 
lay looked enormous, the neck in particular displaying 
extraordinary powers. 

A few days after this, my man reported a herd of 
buffaloes, said to be in an old paddy, or rice field, about 
three miles off. I went out at once, and eventually 
succeeded in creeping up to within twenty yards of them. 

The herd consisted of one bull and six cows. Selecting 
the bull, I fired at him, breaking his shoulder ; but in 
spite of this, he managed to get away with the others 
across an open plain ; however, following on the blood 

* Swamp deer, lit. 12 -horned. 
88 



BEARS DAN(;ER0US TO HUMAN LIFE 

tracks we soon came up to him lying in some bushes. The 
tips of the horns were all that I could see, so, not knowing 
whether the beast was still alive or dead, I approached a 
little nearer to find out, when up he sprang with a snort. 
Fortunately, I was prepared, and as he got up I hit him 
with the right barrel in the centre of the chest. 

He turned on receiving the shot, when I let him have 
the contents of the other barrel in the shoulder. Never- 
theless, he galloped off and covered quite twenty yards 
before he fell over, dead. 

I could relate many another advent lU-c I have had with 
these animals, but from these two incidents alone it will 
be seen that buffalo shooting is not only an exciting pas- 
time, but apt to be dangerous, too, at times. The heads, 
unless they happen to be out of the way in size, are not 
much valued as trophies, but the skin is of great thickness 
and much prized by the natives for making into shields, 
thongs, etc. 

\Vhile on the subject of dangerous big game in Indian 
jungles — I mean animals dangerous to human life — I 
must not omit to mention the Indian bear,* for, -with the 
exception of a man-eating tiger or leopard, both happily 
very rare, there is no animal more dreaded by the natives 
and with good reason. 

For example, tigers and leopards, unless they happen 

be man-ejiters, will seldom attack human beings un- 
provokedly, on the contrary*, are generally more anxious 
to avoid them ; whereas the bear, wthout the smiilk>t 

•vocation, will go for a man at sight. 

Wood-cutters and others, whose business takes them 

into the jungles, often full victims to these attacks, and 

there was hardly u village in the Satpudas where one or 

two of the villagers did not bear on their persons tln' »I;i\v- 

trks of these vicious brutes. 

Armed with formidable claws about three im irs m 
i^th, they use them freely and with great effect, strikii^, 
when they have the opportimity, with the forqiawB aiMl 
cow-kicking with the hind ones, and cases have been known 
of sportsmen being entirely scalped by one downward 
blow of the paw, and even killed with one blow. 
* L'rnu LabiiUut, 

89 



TIGER SLAYER BY ORDER 

The temper of a bear, too, is very uncertain, and appears 
to be ajEfected by the season of the year, as well as by the 
food they exist on. The Bhils declare — and I am of their 
opinion — that during the " mourah " season bears are 
particularly vicious, as they eat largely of these berries 
and are said to be affected by its intoxicating juice, which 
is quite likely, as a very strong liquor is distilled from these 
berries. 

They are dangerous beasts to tackle, too, for apart 
from their formidable claws, they are very tenacious of 
life, and unless knocked over at once, take a lot of killing. 
When two or three bears are together, on one being wounded, 
it will often turn on the others and attack them savagely 
as if under the impression that they had inflicted the injury. 

An Indian bear measures from five to six feet in length, 
stands nearly three feet high, and weighs from fifteen to 
twenty stone. He is a mass of coarse, shaggy, black hair, 
with a whity-brown muzzle. On his breast he bears a 
crescent or V-shaped mark resembling a horse-shoe, some- 
times orange in colour, but more often white. A shot in 
the centre of this mark, when the animal stands erect, as 
it often does in attacking, is generally fatal at once. 

Bears frequent rocky hills, caves, deep ravines, and 
thick bush. In Bengal they are generally found in Purundi, 
or wild cardamum, jungles. Their food consists chiefly 
of roots, honey — which they are particularly partial to — 
and insects of all kinds, especially white ants. They are 
also very fond, as I have said, of the mourah blossom. 

The sight of the bear, like that of an elephant, is very 
poor, but, on the other hand, his sense of smell is extra- 
ordinarily acute. 

The best plan of bringing bears to bag is to send men out 
to mark them down in the early morning, the men taking 
up their positions by early dawn on all the prominent 
hill-tops and peaks, so as to command, if possible, all the 
ravines and hill-sides. They will then, as soon as the sun 
rises, be able to see the animals seeking shelter, after their 
night's ramble and feed, in thick bamboo clumps, fragments 
of rock, etc., from which they can be easily beaten out. 
This method of marking down bears, however, can only be 
carried out in fairly bare, mountainous country. 
90 




i;: i.i. i;is, j.\ ,Kha:uk\sli) 
Shot with jbo Express. 




Tin: !.l \5< 

Sh. ' '>o Express. 



ir* ^M« #1. 90. 



A NARROW ESCAPE 

Although bears are not in the same category with the 
tiger or panther in point of danger to the sportsman, still 
they afford excellent sport, especially in localities where 
they can be attacked on foot. They are gregarious animals, 
and I have often killed two or three of a family. 

WTien sleeping out on one occasion under one of the 
mourah trees I have spoken of, I was suddenly awakened 
during the night by an enormous bear, which had come in 
quest of the berries, which, when ripe, drop to the ground. 

Drawing my revolver from under my pillow, I fired in 
the direction from which the noise seemed to be proceeding 
and heard the animal moving off. \\1ien morning dawned, 
however, we found his broad footprints within a few yards 
of my bed f 

On another occasion, too, I had a very narrow escape 
from one of these animals at a place called Warangaon, in 
Khandesh. I had wounded a very large bear, and in my 
eagerness to get him, ran after him down a steep hiU, 
when suddenly he turned and nearly got me round the 
waist. 

I managed, however, to put a bullet into him just in 
time, but so close was he that his hair was singed all over 
the chest with the flash from my rifle. He was finished 
off by my men, who fortunately came up at this moment. 

Hearing of some bears once at a place called Chappani, I 
moved my camp there. The men who had preceded me 
the night before, had marked dovm one of these bears in 
a mass of broken rocks on the side of a hill. 

I was posted on a narrow path on the side of a steep 
slope, covered with high grass and reeds, leading to the 
rocks amongst which the bear was said to be lying. 

Soon I heard the shouts of the beaters, and presently 
s-'iw the bear, a very large male, coming towards me. The 
ith, as I have said, was a very narrow one, and as there 
was no room for the animal to pass me, I allowed him to 
come up to within ten paces and then fired, the shot striking 
him in the centre of the chest, sent him rolling down the 
hill, where he was picked up, quite dead. He was a huge 
animal, enormously fat, with a fine, shaggy coat. 



i 



91 



TIGER SLAYER BY ORDER 

In addition to those mentioned in this and previous 
chapters, the only other wild animals of India dangerous 
to human life, and therefore of greater interest from the 
sporting point of view, are the rhinoceros and boar. 

Of the first I have had no personal experience worth 
recording, as they are only to be found in the dense jungles 
of Assam and parts of Lower Bengal. The boar, however, 
I know well and shall have something to say about him 
later on, but in a chapter to himself ; for to include him 
amongst the animals I had shot in India, would be to 
proclaim myself as great a criminal as if, in a hunting 
district at home, I confessed to having shot a fox ! 

I have, however, still many shooting adventures to 
relate, for although the bear ends the list of dangerous wild 
animals in India, I have not as yet exhausted the numerous 
experiences I have had with the latter, some of which, I 
trust, mav prove at least as interesting as those already 
told. 

Meanwhile, I propose to give a short account of what I 
may describe, in contradistinction to the others, as the 
non-dangerous big game of India, many of which I have 
shot from time to time during my long service in that 
country. 

Of these the first, both in point of size and importance, 
is the sambar.* This handsome animal, called erroneously 
by some the Indian elk — for he is in fact the red deer^ — is 
the largest of all deer, with the exception of the wapili 
and moose. The stag stands about fourteen hands and 
weighs from 300 to 600 pounds. In colour it is dark 
brown, and the throat is surrounded by a shaggy mane 
which gives a striking appearance to the animal. The 
horns are not palmated, but antlers, with two lines only, 
four feet or more in length, and usually indented with deep 
notches or grooves. 

The females are lighter in colour and have no horns. 
They live together in small herds of about five or six, and 
frequent wooded ravines and jungles preferably in rocky 
and mountainous country. 

In hot weather the male almost always lives up in very 

* Cervus Unicolar. 
92 




CaBXCh OR SPolTKD DHKR. 
(Khandesh.) 




A SAMBAR. 

(Central Provinces.) 



{ !•* i*i4 p. t*. 



SA^^BAR AND CHETUL 

high ground and his large footmarks or tracks are often 
found in almost inaccessible places. 

A male sambar's presence in the jungle can be easily 
detected from a habit they have of rubbing themselves 
against trees to get rid of the velvet that adheres to their 
horns up to the mating season. The old stags can generally 
be heard bellowing at dark and early dawn. These animals 
afford excellent sport, though naturally it is not so exciting 
as the pursuit of dangerous game. A good head makes a 
fine trophy, and the skin is of some value, as out of it can 
be made excellent shooting boots and gaiters, being soft 
and pliable yet proof against thorns. 

The swamp deer or bara-sing * comes next in point 
of size, and is found in Central and also other parts of India. 
It is a grand animal and much resembles the red deer of 
Scotland in appearance, and is about the same size. Its 
horns, though not so massive, are far handsomer than 
those of the sambar, and carry from ten to twelve points. 
Though I have shot a good many of these animals, I was 
never fortunate enough to secure a really good head. 

Next comes the spotted deer, or chetul,t an animal 
which, in my opinion, is, without exception, the most 
beautiful and graceful of the deer tribe. The stag is a 
little larger than a fallow buck ; its skin is of a rich dark- 
l>rown colour, comi)letely covered with white spots and 
most as handsome as that of a panther; the belly ami 
jiiside of the thighs are pure white. Like the sambar, the 
antlers have only six lines, and vary in length from thirty 
to forty inches. 

ChetuI are usually found in thick jungles on the banks 

; rivers where the country is broken, and intersected by 

ucep ravines and watercourses ; they go about in large herds 

of fifty to sixty, and are very common in the Central 

I'rovinces, where I have shot a great number. 

Like all the deer tribe, they are extremely shy, and there- 
f ' »re diiltcult to approach. If alarmed, they make a peculiar 
noise — a loud, hiirsh bark, repeatetl at intervals of a minute, 
often denoting the presence of a tiger or panther in the 
jungles. 

When encamped on the banks of the river at Ghorisgaon. 
* Cervut DmmmoM, t CervM« Axis, 

98 



■ 



TIGER SLAYER BY ORDER 

in Khandesh, herds of these deer used often to come down 
to drink close to our tents, but were seldom molested for 
fear of disturbing more important game. 

A much smaller member of the deer tribe is the ribbed 
face or barking deer,* an extraordinary little creature of 
a reddish-brown colour, the longitudinal creased ridges on 
the face and hoarse bark giving to it the names it bears. 
It stands about two feet high and is very low in the shoulder. 
The antlers, which are supported on long, skin-covered 
pedicles, divide at the top into two small trees, the tops 
curving curiously backwards and are from two to five inches 
long. Another peculiarity of this animal is the length of 
its tongue ; its teeth, too, are extremely long. 

Another curious animal is the mouse deer,f or pisdi, 
about the size of a hare. It is of a dirty yellow grey colour, 
white underneath, with long rows of spots running length- 
ways along the side, and large brown ears. The tiny foot- 
prints of these animals — V-shaped and split at the points — 
are often seen along the jungle paths. They are excellent 
eating and remind one of the Sakaro or Dik-Dik of Africa. 

In Central India and Sind, also in parts of Lower Bengal, 
are found the hog deer J or para. I have shot many in 
Sind, where they are very common. They stand about 
twenty-five inches at the shoulder and are of a rufous or 
yellowish-brown colour. Their horns resemble those of 
a sambar or chetul in shape, though naturally much smaller, 
rarely exceeding sixteen inches in length ; the hide, like 
that of sambar, is soft and pliant yet thorn-proof, and is 
much used for making saddle covers, gaiters, etc. 

This, to the best of my belief, completes the list of all 
the known varieties of the deer tribe to be found in the 
Indian jungles. There are some other animals closely 
resembling deer, but which in fact are really antelopes, 
an account of which, together with the wild goat or ibex, 
will be found in the next chapter. 

* Invua Aurtus, t Memimna Indica. % Axis Porcenus. 



94 



CHAPTER XIII 

Indian antelope — Black buck the best known — Where found — Description 
— Habits, etc. — Rifle recommended — The Indian gazelle — The gaizelle 
or chinkara — Its peculiar call — The four-homed antelope — Flesh 
uneatable — The XU Ghi — Meaning of the name — Ibex or wild goat 
of Asia Minor — A stalk described — Rolling down a precipice — Ibex- 
driving in Afghanistan — Posted to Sholapur — No big game — Pig- 
sticking — The sport described — A comparison — A boar described — 
Its formidable weapon — How used — Riding for first spear — Keen 
competition — The pig-sticking spear — Spears used in Bombay and 
Madras — The short spear of Bengal — Blades — ^Varieties in shape of 
— Horses best suited for the sport — Cunning of the boar — Its ooozage 
and determination — A formidable foe — Some rans described — ^The 
secret of success — Full speed a necessity — A sport aui g<%eri» — I 
lose a favourite terrier from hydrophobia — ^Two servants bitten — 
Apparently none the worse— A tragic sequel — Both men die of hydro- 
phobia — No clue as to how the dog was bitten — The danger of owning 
pugnacious terriers — ^Village curs dangerous to fight with. 

Op the Indian antelope, of which I have any personal 
knowledge, the one best known to all Indian sportsmen is 
the black buck,* to be found practically all over India, 
but more frequently in dry districts, where they frequent 
1 ".rge open plains more or less devoid of v^etation. 

An old buck stands about two feet nine inches high. 
His coat is black as pitch, in strong contrast with the pure 
white markings on the belly, face, and throat. The skin 
darkens with age and does not attain its maximum colour 
till the animal is about eight years old. 

Tlie horns arc spiral, generally of equal length, and vary 

in size from nineteen to twenty-seven and a half inches. 

The females are smaller f h.ii> f ho tnale,of a light -fawn colour, 

ul carry no horns. 

i^k ^^ hlaek buck is gi< and generally found in 

IHkds of twenty or thirty . .ils, though on the plains 

of Gujerat I have seen as many as two hundred in a herd. 

Old bucks are very pugnacious and may frequently be 

M 




TIGER SLAYER BY ORDER 

seen fighting, and when so engaged can be easily approached. 
Essentially a plain-loving animal, it avoids hills and heavy 
jungles. They are capable of great speed, and when dis- 
turbed, start off with high leaps and bounds. Like all 
antelope they are extremely shy and difficult to stalk. 

A '400 Express is the best weapon to use with these 
animals. I have shot a large number, but was not fortunate 
in securing any good heads, the longest being twenty-three 
and a quarter inches. 

The Indian gazelle * is another of the antelope tribe, 
standing about two feet two or three inches in height, and of 
a dark-red chestnut colour. Its horns run from ten to 
fourteen inches in the male ; the longest pair in my collec- 
tion are twelve and a half inches. They are ringed and 
with very sharp points. The does also carry horns, but 
they are smoother and only about six inches long. 

The gazelle, or chinkara, as they are now often called, 
frequent broken ground with sandy ravines bordered by 
scrub jungle, and are very common in Gujerat, Khandesh, 
and the Central Provinces. They are generally in small herds 
of four or five, with one or two bucks amongst them, and 
sometimes may be found singly. 

The chinkara is a restless little creature and requires 
good shooting, for they do not offer much of a mark. When 
alarmed they make a peculiar hissing sound like a loud 
sneeze. The venison of this animal is excellent eating. 

Then comes the four-horned antelope, f which is found 
throughout India, except, I believe, in Burmah and 
Ceylon. They are common in Khandesh and in parts of 
the Central Provinces. The male is of a dull -brown colour 
and stands about twenty-five inches at the shoulders. The 
anterior horns of this animal are seldom more than two 
inches in length, while the posterior do not exceed four 
inches. The does are of a lighter colour and have no 
horns. 

These animals are extremely shy and are generally 
found in small herds of five or six and sometimes singly. 
"When alarmed they run with necks held low which gives 
them a peculiar poky appearance. Their flesh is coarse 
and uneatable. 

* Gazella Benneiiii. t Tetraceros Quoedricomis. 

96 



SHOOTING IBEX IN BALUCHISTAN 

Finally, there is the nilghi,* a name presumably given 
it originally by the natives on account of its appearance, 
• nil " being the Hindustani for " blue," and " ghi " 
meaning a " cow." I know very little of this animal, 
which, though classed as an antelope, more resembles a 
deer without horns, though the bull has short horns of 
about nine inches. 

It is of a decidedly blue-grey colour and about the size 
of a sambar. It is founil in various parts of India, but in 
Bengal is hardly considered as game, because, owing to 
its docile and confiding disposition, it affords no real sport 
and is consequently seldom hunted. A solitary bull will 
give a good run at times. 

\Mien shooting in Baluchistan I was very fortunate in 
procuring some verj' fine specimens of the ibex, or wild 
goat.t of Asia Minor. This animal is about the size of a 
small donkey and of much the same colour, being of a 
brownish-grey, with an almost black line down the back. 

Tlie males have long beards and horns of the usual 
ibex type, but differ from those of the various species in 
that they have no distinct front surface — only notches, 
these being irregular and some distance apart. In some 
of the animals the horns curve inwards at the tips, whilst 
in others the curve is outwards, those with the latter 
' rmation being the most prized. 

The females are lighter in colour than the male and 
have small horns and no beard. 

The wild goat is found singly or in herds of from ten to 
twenty. They inhabit lofty mountain ranges, and as wit h 
all the ibex tribe are extremely shy and very difficult to 
approach. 

I well remember once in Sind following the track of a 
solitary ibex for over thirty miles along a mountain path, 
which lead so persistently upwards that even my wild 
Baluchi shikari showeti signs of giving in. 

We ploddeti along, however, and just as the day was 
waning, sighted our quarry some fifty yards ahead of us. 
There was little or no cover, and as we sank down, scarcely 
daring to breathe, the ibex threw up his head and looked 



* Btmtepkot Tngoeamdu*, t (^opm kirau lti if lki , 

B 97 



■ 



TIGER SLAYER BY ORDER 

fixedly at us. Presently he gave a stamp with his foot, 
and I knew we were discovered, and that there was not a 
moment to lose, so, sitting up, I covered his chest, and taking 
a careful aim as if I was competing for a £1000 prize, I 
fired. 

The ibex gave a great leap upwards and fell over, dead. 
He was a splendid beast, very old and scarred all over, 
and the horns measured forty-eight and a half inches round 
the curve. We were well satisfied with our prize ; but it 
was many hours past sundown when we reached our camp, 
at the foot of the mountains, thoroughly done up, and with 
every bone in our bodies aching after our tremendous 
climb. 

On another occasion an ibex I had wounded crawled up 
a rocky precipice, some three thousand feet high, where it 
was impossible to follow him. With my powerful field- 
glasses I had just made out he was badly wounded — the 
bullet wound on his shoulder being distinctly visible — when 
suddenly he gave a lurch forward, and, looking no larger 
than an orange, came rolling down to the valley below. 

On going up to him I was mortified to find, however, 
that in his rapid, but probably involuntary descent, one 
of his magnificent horns had been broken off at the point. 
Nevertheless he was a fine specimen, the horns measuring 
forty-six and a half inches round the curve. 

So far as I know, ibex shooting in India is always done 
in the way I have described. In Persia and Afghanistan, 
however, I believe they are generally shot in drives, but 
this must be poor sport. 

***** 

In the year my services in the Khandesh District 

were interrupted for a while by my transfer, as District 
Superintendent of Police, to the District of Sholapur, where, 
though the work was much easier than at Khandesh, there 
was no big-game shooting. However, small game was 
fairly plentiful, but what I most enjoyed was the pig- 
sticking, a sport for which the district was quite celebrated 
in those days, and probably is still. 

Although hog-hunting, or pig-sticking — to give it its 
more familiar title — is not to be classed with big-game 
shooting, it is considered, and justly so, the finest sport in 
98 



THE WILD BOAR OF INDIA 

the world. The dash of danger intermingled ^ith the 
excitement of the chase gives to it a zest which, even in 
fox-hunting, is wanting. 

At the same time, in some respects the two resemble 
each other closely, in fact, to put it briefly, pig-sticking 
less the hounds, is fox-hunting, except for the difference in 
size and character of the two animals respectively con- 
cerned, but this difference is important, for whilst the fox 
is helpless to protect itself, the pig can, and often does, 
turn on its pursuers, and being a formidable beast, the 
contest is infinitely more equal, sometimes even resulting in 
victory for the pursued. 

In this connection it is necessary to bear in mind, too, 
that this — the so-called " pig " — is invariably a boar, of 
all wild animals in India admittedly the most determined 
and courageous, armed, moreover, with sharp tusks, 
averaging from five to six inches long, though they have 
been known to nm to as much as nine inches in length. 

For the rest, an Indian boar stands over two feet six 
inches and from snout to end of tail is quite six feet in 
length. In colour he is almost black with a thick row of 
long, stout bristles down the back. The head is long and 
narrow with coarse black flowing whiskers, which turn 
grey with age. The ears are pointed and surrounded with 
black bristles. 

Of the tusks alluded to above, he carries four, an upper 
and lower one each side of his mouth : but it is the lower 
ones he uses in attack or defence. These are white and 
gleaming and symmetrically curved with the inner edges as 
sharp as a razor. 

His method of using these murderous weapons, is to 
throw up his head with a jerk when closing with his foe, 
and having grtuit power in his neck, a blow thus delivered 
makes a fearful wound. The upper tusks are much shorter 
and of a dirty yellow colour. His tail is scantily covered 
with short hairs, and has a flat tuft of bristles at the end. 
l^b^Wild pig are found throughout India and are very 
■^Knmon in the De<;can, where 1 have speared a considerable 
number. They do much damage to the crops and live in 
herds or sounders — to use the technical term— of from ten 
to sixty or more. Solitary boars are occasbnally to be met 

99 



■ 



TIGER SLAYER BY ORDER 

with in high grass, cactus bushes, or rocky caves, and afford 
the best sport. 

When riding in company with others, the main object 
of the hunters is to obtain the " first spear," i.e. to be the 
first to stick the pig, for the rider who draws first blood, 
however sHght the wound he inflicts, is entitled to the 
tusks, hence the competition for these trophies is naturally 
very keen. 

In the Madras and Bombay Presidencies, where the 
weapon is held lance-wise, the long spear is invariably 
used, varying in length from eight to ten feet, but in Bengal 
a short leaden -headed, jobbing spear is preferred. The 
shafts of all pig-sticking spears are made of what is known 
as the male bamboo, which for strength and rigidity cannot 
be surpassed. 

The spear-head, or blade, varies in shape according to 
the taste and experience of the hunter, but the lance-shaped 
blade is to be preferred as it is easier to draw out of the boar 
after the thrust has been delivered. 

The horses best suited for the sport are Arab stallions, 
as they are extremely courageous and very clever on their 
feet — an important qualification, for the boar usually 
selects the worst line of country in his flight, in the hopes of 
shaking off his pursuers. 

In following a boar, the rider must be ever on the 
alert, ready for any contingency that may arise, for no one 
who has not been an eye-witness of the desperate courage of 
the wild hog, would believe in the utter recklessness of life 
which he displays, or in the fierceness of his attack. 

With a spear passed through his vitals, he has been 
known to bury his tusks in the body of a horse, or the leg 
of its rider. He is none the less a noble foe, rarely turning 
to mutilate a fallen enemy ; unless so desperately wounded 
as to be unable to go on, and when conquered, dies, as only 
a wild hog can die, in absolute silence. 

On one occasion, I had a long and severe run after a 
solitary old boar, which on the second time of being speared, 
ran up the spear and fixed its tusks in the chest of my horse, 
bringing him heavily to the ground. I was picked up 
insensible and with a broken collar-bone ! 

Another time when riding for the spear, with my friend 
100 



PLEASURES AM) PERIIS OF PIG-STICKING 

O of the Indian Civil Service, my horse was knocked 

completely off his legs by a savage boar. As a result 
of the encounter I was laid up for several days with broken 
ribs, while my horse was so badly ripped that it had to be 
destroyed ! 

The secret of riding a hog successfully is to ride as close 
up to him as possible, keeping him on the right or spear side. 
The horse must be kept so thoroughly in hand as to be 
able to turn at once with every " jink " or turn made by 
the pig. 

The pace of the horse, too, should be as near as possible 
.»i full speed, in order to blow the pig and take away his wind 
in the first brunt, otherwise he will probably run for miles, 
hence if either from the slowness of the horse, or the 
difficulties of the ground, the pace cannot be kept up, there 
is always the danger of losing the pig. 

It would take pages to describe all the various incidents, 
accidents, and adventures which fall to the lot of all who 
have ridden after pig, for it is a sport eminently s^ut generis^ 
and one in which the sportsman, while exposed to every 
danger attendant on fox-hunting, must also run the risk 
of being attacked by the animal hunted. Nevertheless, 
it is just this spice of danger which, as I have siiid already, 
gives to this sport its extraordinary fascination. 

Wliile stationed at Sholapur, I had the misfortune to 
lose a very favourite dog, a fox-terrier called Snap, but under 
circumstances which had such an extraordinarily tragic 
sequel, that I am tempted to record this otherwise, 
apparently, trivial incident. 

On arrival one morning, while on tour, at a new camping 
ground, my butler brought me the dead body of the dog, 
who, us usual, had been sent ahead with the camp kit, under 
the charge of the dog-boy. I examinetl t he IkmIv and found 
some foam and saliva round the mouth. 

The butler explained that the dog, wiio was travelling 
III the cart with the servants, had suddenly become restless, 
and fiimlly had bitten the dog-boy and the dhoby,* and 
becoming very violent, they had been obliged to kill him. 
Neither of the two persons bitten seemed any the worse. 



I 



* WMbMmUMB. 

101 



y 



^ 

i 



TIGER SLAYER BY ORDER 

nor were their injuries severe ; however, thinking it safer 
to do so, I cauterised all the bites I could find on both 
as thoroughly as I could, and gave no further thought to 
the matter. 

Six months later, however, after I had left the district, 
a friend at Sholapur, to whom I had mentioned the incident, 
\vrote to tell me that both the dhoby and the dog-boy 
had just died of hydrophobia ! The curious part of this 
business was that I could never discover when, where, or 
how the dog had contracted the dread disease himself ; 
and could only conclude that he, being like most terriers, 
exceedingly pugnacious, had been bitten, when fighting 
with some village cur, which had the germs in him. 



102 



CHAPTER XIV 

A lack of amuBcment — Fishing on the lake — Ciood sport — Snake charming 
— A performance describetl — " Music hath charms " — Discordant but 
fascinating — Lured out of a well — A marvellous performance — Re- 
moving poisonous fangs — The haraadr^'ad — Its rapidity of movement 
— A friend's experience — Hatching the eggs — A male mother — The 
neet found — A rare specimen — The insatiable collector — The biter bit 
— The snake stone — Method of using it — The cure effected — An heir- 
loom — Pmrging the stone — A narrow escape — Rough on the fishing- 
rod — A snake in the hall — Prompt measures — Taking the bull by the 
boms — A strange protest — Posted to Shikapur — Its evil reputation 
— The hottest place in India — How we kept cool at night — Sand-fliee 
and mosquitoes — Sand storms — No regular rainfall — A change to 
Sukkur— Cold weather, short and severe— Wild fowl in plenty — Pleasant 
days at Khairpur — An old-time chieftain — A sportsman over seventy 
— Wild shooting — Ali Murad and his falcons — A day'? hawking — Well- 
trained birds — An old reprobate — Curious way of fishing. 

Apart from pig-sticking and small-game shooting, there 
was little in the way of amusement at Sholapur, but as 
the station boasted of rather a good lake, we rigged up a 
boat and for some time amused ourselves with sailing. 

However, discovering after a while, that there were 
fish in the lake, we used the boat for fishing ; the fish we 
found, though small, were very plentiful and good eating, 
and what is more to the point, gave excellent sport with 
a fly. 

It was while at Sholapur, too, that I witnessed some 
^'••"- ins feats of snake-charming, performed by a wandering 
of professional snake-charmers. The principal pcr- 
lunner was an individual of the native juggler tj-pe, who, 
to the weird music of a reed instrument, which he called 
a " phimghi," made several cobras, which he brought 
with him, sway and keep time to, what by courtesy might 
be called the tune, which, howerer, seoned to have an 
extraordinary fascination for the "^^^ tor thev were 

lOS 



TIGER SLAYER BY ORDER 

evidently entranced by it and for the time being completely 
under control. 

Afterwards, by means of this discordant " music," 
he lured out of a disused well another cobra, which, unless 
he had previously placed it there himself, which was 
scarcely possible, was certainly not one of his own. 

This one he also played to for a time, and with the 
same effect, then, suddenly grasping it by the tail, and 
running his hand up rapidly, grasped it below the neck 
and forcing its jaws open, extracted its two poison fangs, 
using a pair of pincers for the purpose. 

It was certainly a marvellous performance and one 
requiring extraordinary skill and courage, as the slightest 
mistake, or fumbling, would have cost the man his life, 
for the snake, as we had seen, was dangerous at the time. 

With many so-called snake-charmers, who perform their 
tricks with what are believed to be poisonous snakes, it 
is the practice to have the poisonous fangs extracted before- 
hand, and though they grow again, for the time being they 
make it harmless. 

Writing about snakes reminds me of an amusing 

adventure experienced by W- , a friend of mine at 

Castle-rock, a wild, delightful spot in the Western Ghats, 
one of the few remaining haunts of the common hamadrj^ad 
snakes. 

The hamadryad is a very large species of poisonous 
snake, most venomous, and so swift in its movements as 
to have won for itself the somewhat incredible reputation 
of being able to coil itself into a hoop for the purpose of 
chasing its victim with greater rapidity. 

W- , when out on one occasion in the jungle after 

big game, was told by the beaters that a pair of hamadryads 
were hatching some eggs in another jungle close by. The 
male is said, like the ostrich, to take its share in this 
performance. 

Great precaution was necessary in order that they 
might be approached unobserved, as they are supposed 
to attack, if disturbed, on the slightest provocation. 

However, they managed to get near, and W , catching 

sight of the male, promptly shot it, then offered a reward 
to any one who could show him the whereabouts of the 
104 



AN ENTHUSIASTIC COLLECTOR OF SNAKES 

nest. A few days later a shikari found the place and 

escorted him there, when W , shooting the female too, 

stx!ured the eggs. 

Delighted with his find, he carefully packed up the dead 
iiake and her eggs, which were nearly hatched, and dis- 
patched the parcel to a friend, a well-known naturalist in 
Bombay, who would, no doubt, as he imagined, be most 
grateful for so interesting an addition to his collection. 

But, not being a naturalist himself, nor aware of the 
voracity of their kind in the matter of specimens, he had, 
as it appeared, over-estimated the value of his contribu- 
tion, for in the course of a week or so he received a letter 
from his friend reproaching him indignantly for sending 
him " a few eggs and a dead snake, when he might so easUy 
have captured and sent him the whole family alive ! " 

He evidently meant to imply that my friend should have 
waited until the eggs were hatched, and then to make a 
wholesale capture of the parents and their progeny, but 
how two such deadly reptiles — ^to say nothing of the little 
■nes possibly as venomous — were to be caught, he did not 
trouble to explain. 

Strangely enough, this enthusiastic collector, who, by 
the way, was much liked and respected by all, eventually 
fell a victim to this mania for collecting such dangerous 
specimens, for some time afterwards he was bitten, and 
lost his life through handling some venomous snakes in 
his collection in Bombay. 

Another friend of mine, H , an Indian civihan, was 

•nee witness to a somewhat interesting incident in which 

ne of his men was bitten by a cobra. I venture to relate 

this because it is one of the very few authenticated cases 

of a cure being effected by the snake-stone, of which many 

have doubtless heard, but apparently few believe in. 

The friend in question was seated in his verandah one 
morning, when one of his servants came running up to him, 
< xclaiming that he had just been bitten by a snake and 
showed two marks on his ankle, which after careful examina- 
I it)n seemed to have undoubtedly been made by the fangs 
•fa snake. 

Meanwhile, some peons and others had chased and 
kilkxl the snake, which proved to be a large and almost 

105 



TIGER SLAYER BY ORDER 

black cobra, the most venomous of the species. Every one 
was naturally much alarmed, and, including the victim 
himself, prepared for the worst, for there was no cure or 
antidote known of in those days. 

The man soon showed symptoms of the poison, and had 
already become drowsy, when some religious mendicants, 
happening to pass along the road near the bungalow, saw 
the dead snake, which had been thrown there, and question- 
ing the servants, ascertained what had happened. 

They now came into the compound, asking to be allowed 
to see and cure the bitten man, and this request being 
granted, one of them unswathed his turban and undoing a 
knot in it, extracted a small blue gi'een stone of a some- 
what spongy appearance. Wetting this with spittle, he 
rubbed it on the wounds, at the same time making passes 
and uttering certain incantations. He repeated this per- 
formance three times, then informed the patient, who 
certainly seemed better, that he would be quite all right 
now and free from all effects of the poison. 

He then proceeded to tie up his treasured talisman, and 
making his salaams, was going off, when my friend, who had 
been much interested in this proceeding, engaged him in 
conversation with a view to finding out what was the com- 
position, etc., of the stone, and finally asked him whether 
he would sell it. 

But this he absolutely declined to do, declaring it was 
an heirloom, handed down from many generations, nor 
would he permit the stone to be touched by any one. 
Finally, accepting a small reward, he went off with the 
rest of his companions. Meanwhile, the man bitten had 
been rapidly improving, and in a short time was perfectly 
well! 

Doubtless the virtue of these stones lies in the fact of 
their being porous and strongly absorbent, thus, when 
placed against a snake-fang puncture, gradually draw off 
all the poison. This, at any rate, is the generally accepted 
explanation of the native superstition, which attribute 
to these stones a mysteriously miraculous power brought 
into operation only by passes and incantations such as I 
have described. 

I have since heard that Faquirs and others who make a 
106 



TWO SNAKE ADVENTURES 

practice of using these stones as snake-bite curers, sur- 
reptitiously soak them in milk, after each operation, to 
purge them of the poison they have absorbed so as to 
be fit to use again, but how far this is true I cannot 
say. 

Although it is not often that Europeans are exposed to 
any danger from snakes, I had once a very narrow escape 
from one myself. 

Coming out one morning from my bath, I sat down at 
the dressing-table and stretching out my l^s underneath 
it, I felt something cold under my feet, both of which were 
bare. Looking down, I discovered to my horror that one 
foot was resting on a coiled-up snake. 

Luckily, I had the presence of mind to move the foot 
gently away, and seizing the nearest weapon I could find, 
which unfortunately happened to be my best fishing-rod, 
I struck at the beast, which was fortunately somewhat 
lethargic, either from a full meal or the cold. I smashed 
f he rod to pieces, but seemed to make little impression on 
t he snake, which was finally finished off by my orderly, 
who hearing the disturbance came to my assistance. The 
'^nake proved to be a cobra. I had thus every reason to be 
liankful for my escape. 

The only other case I remember of Europeans being 
\jX)sed to danger from snakes was of a man who, with his 
wife and children, was staying with a friend. Coming in 
from shooting one day, he saw a huge snake in the hall 
close to where his children were playing. Slipping a 
cartridge into his gun, he promptly shot it, and only then 
discovered tliat it was a harmless rock snake that he had 
killed. However, as it is always safer to assume that all 
Indian snakes are dangerous, this fact did not trouble him, 
and when he met his host he told him what had happened, 
but to his amazement, the latter, so far from < ijil fining 
any regret for the anxiety he had suffer«l, was most 
indignant, and reproached him for, what he was pleased 
' <> describe, his inhumanity in killing a hannleM 
iiake I 

Too angry at the moment to reply, he waited till he fdt 
calmer, then asked if he would kindly tell him how he could 
have ascertained whether the snake was hannless or not, 

107 



TIGER SLAYER BY ORDER 

adding that another time it would perhaps be better to 
examine a snake's fangs before shooting it ! 

* * ^ * * 

My next station was Shikarpur, which enjoys the evil 
reputation of being, during the hot season, the hottest 
place in India. In fact, by those who have experienced 
its fiery climate, it has often been described as " rivalling, 
in their estimation, a certain warmer spot below, and only 
separated from it by a sheet of thin brown paper." 

How far this comparison may be true, I am, fortunately, 
not in a position to say, but judging from my knowledge of 
places on the surface of the earth, it is quite the warmest 
I have been in. And apparently the Government is of the 
same opinion, for all officials posted there receive a com- 
pensation allowance of Rs.lOO a month as extra pay. 

The houses, too, are all built with thick mud walls and 
have flat tops which are used at night to sleep on, and even 
then it is only by sprinkling the bed from time to time with 
water, and having a punkah overhead, that it is possible 
to obtain a few hours' sleep. 

Some, indeed, go so far as to have a tub of water near 
the bed to plunge into occasionally ; another drawback, 
too, are the sand -flies which, numerous and persistent as 
mosquitoes, are a perfect pest. 

There is no regular rainfall, but the vegetation is 
maintained by a system of irrigation and the occasional 
overflowing of the Indus river. A sandstorm at rare 
intervals somewhat cools the atmosphere, but during the 
hot weather we put in as much time as we could spare 
at Sukkur on the Indus, where the cooler breezes of the river 
made life somewhat more tolerable. 

Strangely enough, though, in spite of their hot dry 
climate, the gardens, both at Shikarpur and Sukkur, are 
exceptionally flourishing, full of the graceful date and palms, 
and other tropical trees. 

The cold weather, though short, is quite severe, and 
during this season excellent small-game shooting can be 
had, especially at a place called Larkhana, where, on the 
numerous tanks, there are wild fowl in plenty and snipe 
also near the banks. Quail and partridge, too, are 
plentiful, including the black and handsome variety of 
108 




IBEX. 
(Baluchistan.) 




MY FINEST KOODOO BUI^I,; [To face p. 109. 



A SPORTING OLD REPROBATE 

the latter, which, together with the chakoor, are also to 
be found. 

There is no big game in the district except the ibex, 
a wild goat of Asia Minor, which I have described in a 
previous chapter. 

While stationed at Shikarpur, I spent some pleasant 
days with Ali Murad, the chief of Khairpur, who, though over 
seventy years of age then, was an exceedingly good sports- 
man and magnificent shot. He had excellent reserves 
well stocked with wild hogs and hog deer. 

These were driven out by a multitude of beaters past 
the guns, and, by the chief and his followers, fired at indis- 
criminately, no quarter being given to the pigs. However, 
except the chief himself, who rarely missed a shot, the 
shooting of his entourage was exceedingly, not to say 
dangerously, wild, their bullets being heard whistling in 
all directions but the right one. 

We also had a day out -with Ali Murad's falcons, which 
we followed on horseback. They were wonderfully trained 
birds, and it was a very pretty sight to see their flight after 
hare and partridge, and to watch the curious manner in 
which they were lured back, but, on the whole, the sport 
was not one that appealed to me. 

The ancient chieftain was a ruler of the old-fashioned 
autocratic type, and the hero of numerous interesting 
adventures, which, unfortunately, it would not be diplo- 
matic to repeat. He was much pleased at a photo I took 
of him. 

One of the most curious things I noticed while at 
Shikarpur was the manner in which fishing is done on the 
Indus. The fisherman lies on his stomach extended on a 
large earthen " chatty," and thus drifts down the stream, 
holding a conical-shaped net in front of him. Then as 
the fish are secured, they are slipped into the chatty, 
which when full he guides to the shore. The " ' il 
fish is the pullah, which is very bony, but nmkes t . a 

etiting. 



I 



109 



CHAPTER XV 

After furlough — Posted to Bijapur — A city of the dead — Tomb as official 
rasidence — Mosque with whispering gallery — A dome larger than St. 
Paul's — My tomb-house — Its advantages and drawbacks — Plague and 
famine — My next station — The sacred city of Nasik — On plague duty 
— High-handedness and extortion — Discontent — Riot and murder — 
Victims of the plagixe — Dacoities and sedition — Pohce measures — A 
robber chief — His formidable gang — Baffles the pohce — A Police Post 
attacked — Pursuit — A havildar and his men killed — Vengeance on a 
spy — Organize a flying column — The robber stronghold stormed — 
Desperate resistance — Hea\^ casualties on both sides — Capture of 
ring-leader and his gang — Treasure recovered — A fine body of men — 
A wounded robber chief in hospital — Some startling revelations — A 
sporting ruffian — Sedition in Nasik — Mistaken sympathy from the 
Press — Trial and conviction of the ring-leaders — Inadequate sentences 
— Agitation renewed — Manufacture of bombs — Art acquired in Europe 
by so-called students — Murder of officials — A judge shot in native 
theatre. 

After fui'lough home and some further service in Khandesh, 
I found myself posted at that dread city of the dead, 
Bijapur, where most of the official residences are converted, 
ancient tombs. This place boasts of a mosque with whisper- 
ing gallery and dome, the latter said to be larger than St. 
Paul's, also several other beautiful mosques and tombs. 

My particular residence was believed to have been the 
tomb of two sisters, both famous in their way, but for what, 
I cannot say. However, owing to the great thickness of 
the walls, the house, if I may call it so, was fairly cool 
during the day if kept carefully closed. 

In the evening, however, it was quite impossible to sit 
anywhere near the house, the heat the walls threw off 
being absolutely unbearable. Plague and famine, too, 
were both rife in the district at the time, so that altogether 
my lot was not a happy one. 

The only compensation was that black -buck were very 
110 



PLAGUE, FAMINE AND EXTORTION 

plentiful and the country being open they afforded good 
sport. 

My next station was Nasik, a most interesting, healthy 
station, and the second most sacred city in India, Trimbak, 
the source of the river Godavery, being eighteen miles only 
from Nasik city. 

There are particularly good golf links too, and now, I 
believe, quite a large residential Golf Club. Bombay being 
about four hours by rail only, and Nasik having a more 
temperate climate, forms a pleasant retreat for hard- 
working Bombay men at most times of the year. 

I came in, however, for a full share of plague and famine 
troubles, and the whole district was dotted about with 
segr^ation camps. At one time, on account of plague, 
the whole city had to be evacuated, and it was a melancholy 
sight to see rows upon rows of empty houses and shops 
marked, as in the famous plague of London, but with a red 
Government mark instead of a cross. 

Notwithstanding the tremendous efforts made by the 
numerous civilian and miUtary officers on special plague 
duty, there is no doubt that a great deal of high-handed- 
ness and extortion was exercised by their understrappers in 
their official dealings with the people. 

These official parasites being mostly recruited from the 
hir'i "^r Brahmins, of whom therearemanyinNasik.doubt- 
1< full use of their high social position to aid, as well 

^ cover, their extortionate proceedings, and while acting 
^tensibly as Government officials, were in fact feathering 
t heir own nests. The harvest reaped by some of them was, 
i know, cnonnous. 

There was also great and grave dissatisfaction at many 

f the orders issued by Government, some of which were 

liuch abused. This discontent, in fact, gave rise to local 

disturbances, culminating in a serious riot, in which the 

> of the plague doc*tor was burnt and his assistant 

^everal others killed. 

Plague, like cholera and enteric, is now generally 
accepted as one of the ills of India, but I doubt if the world 
at large realizes for a moment how many millions of deaths 
it lutable for. Some arc of opinion that if when the 

\>' r first start «l tho whole infecttcl areii had l)ecn 

111 



■ 



TIGER SLAYER BY ORDER 

burnt down and the inhabitants completely segregated, 
it might probably have been nipped in the bud and many 
lives thus saved. 

So far as my own police force was concerned, I lost 
annually many invaluable men as well as my own servants, 
my favourite shikari, Gungdia, being one of the many 
victims to the fell disease. 

I found the Nasik District very bad, too, in the matter of 
dacoities and sedition. The first of these two evils occupied 
the whole attention of myself and neighbouring super- 
intendents of police throughout the year, for there were 
many difficulties to contend with, not the least of them 
being due to the hills which, dividing the districts from 
each other, afforded shelter to the dacoits. Thus when 
the police pursuit became too pressing in one district, 
the individuals pursued could easily evade it by slipping 
over the border into these hills where they lay concealed. 

There was considerable emulation between the police 
of the different districts for the capture of the absconders, 
but this very keenness was often the cause of their failure, 
for each being desirous of effecting the capture preferred 
acting alone to seeking assistance from the other, thus 
losing the benefit of co-operation, which is so essential 
in police work. 

Many a dacoit slipped through our fingers in this way, 
and, as times became harder, were joined by other bad 
characters ; eventually becoming quite a formidable 
gang under the leadership of one Chimanya Bowani, a 
typical robber -chieftain whose fine physique and haughty 
bearing supported his claim to being of Rajput blood. 
Under his able guidance the gang soon became quite strong 
enough to hold up the principal roads and thoroughfares 
in the district, and finally established what might be 
described as a reign of terror throughout the country- 
side. 

Special police were employed to hunt the gang, and 
large Government rewards offered for the arrest of any 
of its members, or for information which might lead to 
this result. Special rewards, too, were offered for the 
arrest of the leader, but so much was he feared that it was 
difficult even to obtain any news of his movements, and 
112 



A (iVNG OF DACOITS 

though he was seen once or twice, and fired at liy the 
pohce, he always managed to escape. 

The failure of the rains for two consecutive seasons caus- 
ing famine, had produced great distress which, added to the 
presence and rapacity of the professional money-lenders, 
was the priniar\' cause of these dacoities ; hence there was 
something to be said in favour of the robbers, many of 
whom having been ruined by these men, had become 
criminals by netcssity rather than of their own free will. 

But be this as it may, their depredations soon assumed 
very serious proportions, for within a very few weeks no 
less than one hundred and sixty dacoities, accompanied 
with murder, had been conimitted by this gang, who, armed 
with swords and bows, were too powerful to be resisted by 
the villagers. They generally mutilated their victims, 
especially if they happened to be money-lenders, by 
cuttinu off their ears and noses or otherwise disfiguring 
til. ond recognition. 

.\t iingth, not content with plundering villages, 
Chimanya and his followers now attacked a police post 
on the frontier, and seizing the rifles and ammunition 
they found there, made off with them. Tlioroughly 
acquainted with all the hill [)aths aiul iHxky ehasIn^ of 
the border, they easily evaded subsequent pursuit by the 
police, who, moreover, were considerably handicapped by 
heavy rain. 

I well remember the occasion and the disco"f >♦- I 
})erienccd (iuriiij^f this pursait. l>cing frequentlx d 

out of my tents ; also the exhilaration of my assistant on 
finding our dining-tablc jtist long enough to sleep under, 
and so protect him from the stream that poured through 
the roof of the shanty in which we once took shelter. The 
chase on this occasion ended in failurr, ftu nian\ of lli« 
patels or headmen of the villages W( pissed, fearing 
reprisals, would give no information of tin- nioveinents 
" the abscon«i<is. though, as we learnt latir, tluy had 
ipplied them with food and drink. 

MortH»ver, to guard against arrest, the gang kept con- 
tinuously on the move, changing their enc4»mpmeat every 
day, and were jierpetually on the alert, iuoui\ting regular 
sentries whercvt i they encamped; so that, on the whole, 

I 118 



■ 



TIGER SLAYER BY ORDER 

the police, as is the case with all disciplined forces, operating 
in an unknown country and against a mobile foe, were at 
a considerable disadvantage. 

At length, however, we thought our chance had come 
when one day a deserter from the enemy's camp came to 
the police and offered his services as an informer ; but, as 
it turned out, this merely added to our difficulties, for while 
he was being taken to the magistrate's camp, the escort 
was attacked by the gang, who, killing the havildar in 
command and two constables, carried him off with 
them. 

We found the body of the poor wretch later, tied to a 
tree, but minus the head, which had been cut off and stuck 
on a pole as a warning to any villagers who might be dis- 
posed to act as he had done ! 

Finally, things came to such a pass that, in spite of 
extra men being supplied to each district force, it was found 
that the police were insufficient, and it was decided to 
reinforce them by a detachment of infantry from Poonah. 
Before these arrived, however, I had organized a flying 
column of fifty picked men under a smart, reliable inspector, 
each man carrying sixty rounds of ammunition and provided 
with provisions for a month, so as to be independent of the 
villagers, who, since the summary execution of the informer, 
were more disinclined than ever to render assistance to the 
police. 

The pursuit was resumed without delay, and in the course 
of a few days the stronghold of the gang in these hills was 
discovered and surrounded. They made a desperate re- 
sistance, fighting with great courage and desperation, but 
in the end many were killed, wounded, and captured, 
including the chief, whom we found the next day hiding 
in a field, where he lay wounded. 

We also recovered a quantity of treasure, consisting of 
bags of rupees, gold and silver ornaments, etc., all of which 
were found lying — flung here and there about the camp — 
amongst the mud and puddles, for it had been raining 
heavily before and during the encounter. 

Our loss was heavy too, the inspector being wounded and 
several men killed. However, we had the satisfaction of 
feeling that the gang was now thoroughly broken up, 
114 



SOME STARTLING REVELATIONS 

a fact acknowledged by the Government in several gratify- 
ing telegrams, and a subsequent resolution, winding up 
with the bestowal of a sword of honour to the inspector in 
recognition of his services. 

Meanwhile the military had arrived, all as keen as they 
could be, thinking they were in for a real sporting time, 
and were consequently greatly disappointed to find the 
" show " was over, for a dacoit hunt would have been a 
pleasant break in the monotony of their life in cantonments. 

Amongst the captured members of the gang were many 
of very fine physique, whom I much regretted being unable 
to enUst in my corps, and who would doubtless have made 
excellent military policemen, if only on the principle of 
" Set a thief to catch a thief." 

I had many conversations with the Chief Chimanya while 
he was in hospital. Among many other things, he told me 
he had no enmity against Europeans, as they had never 
done him any harm, which I thought was rather sporting 
of him, seeing that it was to them he really owed his 
wounds and final downfall ! 

He also informed me — much to my humihation — that 
on several occasions during the pursuit, both myself and 
my assistant as well as some of my men had met and asked 
his own scouts — disguised as rustics — the way to his strong- 
hold ! also that on one occasion my assistant was talking 
to one of their men, quite innocent of the fact that there 
were several of the gang concealed clase to the spot, who 
could have shot him quite easily hatl they wished I 

But the strangest thing he told me was that " one day 
he and several of his men were liiding in a ravine close to 
the public road, when they saw a tonga passing with a mem 
sahib inside. *',He could easily have held it up," he said, 
*' in fact his men wanted to do so, but he would not let 
them." 

Comparing dates later I was astounded to find that 
the lady in the tonga was my wife on her way to join me 
in camp ! True she had an escort of two sowars with her, 
but against so many they could scarcely have made an 
effective defence. 

On another occasion they had seen a sowar ride into 
camp with the pay, quite a large sum of money, on a day 

115 



TIGER SLAYER BY ORDER 

when we had, as he knew well, gone off after him on some 
false information given by a villager. 

So that on the whole — notwithstanding all his faults — 
Chimanya Bawani was certainly a sportsman in the more 
general sense of the term. Thus I really felt quite sorry 
when some time after he and many of his followers were 
convicted of murder and hanged, for though they deserved 
their fate, it was, as I have said before, the action of the 
money-lenders which had driven them to crime. 

****** 

Another movement which the police had to contend 
with was, as I have already mentioned, sedition, an evil 
infinitely more difficult to deal with than dacoity by reason 
of its more perfect organization, and the subtlety of the 
agents employed. 

Nasik was always known to be seditious, as could be seen 
by the insolent attitude of a certain section of the natives, 
especially those of the younger generation, towards all 
Europeans. The stringent but necessary Government 
plague precautions caused widespread inconvenience, and 
the agitators worked this as a lever to make more trouble 
for the authorities. 

Owing to the misplaced sympathy they evoked from 
the English Press, and the threatening attitude they 
assumed, some of the more stringent regulations, which 
were most necessary, were unfortunately rescinded, with 
a view doubtless to placate the people, but without success, 
as will be seen. This was naturally most depressing and 
discouraging to the officials who were fighting the plague, 
night and day, European officers actually removing plague 
corpses themselves as part of their daily routine and 
sparing no effort to check the progress of the pestilence. 

Though the populace seemed satisfied at having gained 
their ends, there was ample evidence that trouble was 
seething under this apparently calm surface. The insidious 
movement was daily gaining power, and gradually, though 
surely, being disseminated throughout India by the wire- 
pullers at Nasik. 

True, the heads of the movement were ultimately tried 
and found guilty, but despite the warning of certain 
experienced officials, who contended that unless severely 
116 



MURDER OF A JUDGE 

dealt with and thus rendered incapable of continuing their 
propaganda, the men would cause more serious trouble, 
they were let off with quite inadequate sentences. 

The result of this lenient treatment became apparent 
in due course, for the bomb -throwing, train -wrecking and 
murder of officials, etc., which occurred later were practi- 
cally all traced back to these original agitators in Nasik, 
some of whom, it was found, had made it their business 
to acquire the art of manufacturing deadly bombs while 
they were in Europe, ostensibly engaged in studying for 
examinations. 

Of tlio EiiroDnan officials murdered one was Mr. F , 

a judp ingely enough, was remarkable for his 

leniency lo, ana sympathy with, the natives, and was 
actually shot in a native theatre where he had gone with 
some other Europeans to witness a performance. 




117 



CHAPTER XVI 

Wild animals as pets — I start a menagerie — Experiments with tiger and 
panther cubs — Hunting by scent or sight and hearing ? — A much- 
vexed question practically decided — Conclusive evidence — " Billy," 
my tiger cub — Pillow fights with tiger cubs — The dog-boy and his 
charges — A troublesome pair — Gymkhana for the police — Bicycles 
supersede horses — Revisit Khandesh — A hunting box — Old friends — 
Shooting under difficulties — Blank days — A tiger at last reported — 
The beat — A tiger and tigress put up — Charging the beaters — Situation 
becomes dangerous — Rescuing the stops — The beat abandoned for 
the night — Disappointment — Nasik antiquities — Traffic in curios — 
Made in Birmingham — Transferred to Dhanvar — Shooting oflf ladders 
— An accident near ending in a tragedy — Fit only for a madhouse — 
An interesting temple — The god Khundobar — Said to have been a 
sportsman — Hunting with the hounds — Worshippers assume attitude 
and character of dogs — Feeding the dog-devotees — On allfours — Biting 
and barking — A rei)ulsive and degrading exhibition — Backsheesh the 
main object. 

Although my time while stationed at Nasik was mostly 
taken up, as I have shown, with dacoities and sedition, I 
managed to find leism'e for other occupations, including 
the collecting of live wild animals as pets, and in time had 
quite a respectable menagerie, amongst these, a chetul, 
a black-buck, two small gazelle, and also panther and tiger 
cubs. 

Interested as I have always been in wild animals of 
every kind, I have closely watched their habits, in their 
own Jungle, as far as possible, but more particularly when 
I have had them as pets, and in the case of tigers and 
leopards, have tried many experiments with the young of 
both, with a view to settling the much-vexed question as 
to whether these carnivora hunt by scent or primarily by 
sight and hearing. 

As it occurred to me that the surest way of deciding 
this was to try the cubs with fiesh, I used to drag pieces of 
118 



r-t^ipwcT' 




THE INDIAN BOAR. 




APPROACHING TIGERHOOD, 
" Billy " the Cub. 



[To face p. 119, 



A TROUBLESOME PAIR 

high meat along the floor, then hide them in various comers 
of the room, but in spite of all encouragement I never 
succeeded in inducing the cubs to take up the scent. On 
the other hand, carefully watching their demeanour, I 
noticed that they rarely appeared to be scenting, but were 
always keenly watching and listening. 

This, to my mind, is conclusive evidence that the tiger 
and panther hunt by sight and hearing rather than by smell. 
In support of which theory there is, I think, circumstantial 
evidence too, for I firmly beheve if such destructive 
beasts as these were capable of hunting by scent, there would 
be no other animal left alive in any jungle they frequented. 
Amongst the tiger cubs I have kept from time to time as 
pets was one " Billy," shown in the accompanying photo, 
who, for a tiger cub, was particularly affectionate and docile. 
He died of paralysis of the spine, a very frequent cause of 
death with such animals in captivity. 

Two other tiger cubs I had were about the size of spaniels 
and a most amusing pair they were. They used to run 
loose in my tent and in the morning shared my early 
breakfast. At times their play was apt to be rather too 
rough, and I have frequently been obliged to drive them off 
by flooring them with a pillow or bolster. 

They used to sleep on each side of my dog-boy, their 
chains attached to his feet, and if they disturbed or crowded 
him in the night he would cuff them as one might a terrier 
pup ! They came in time to follow me about, too, quite 
as naturally as dogs. 

When going home on furlough I left them with a friend, 
who confidingly accepted the responsibility, but some six 
months later, wrote to me complaining of their conduct. 
It appeared that, as they increased in size, they had de- 
veloped a desire to kill and consume other animals in the 
ition, particularly goats, of whom they had already 
Killed a goodly number, and had now taken to stalking 
children, apparently with like intent, which, as my friend 
naively observed, had made both himself and them dis- 
tinctly unpopular. However, as 1 heard no more complaints, 
f assumed he had found means to prevent these man- 
raters in embryo from carrying out their fell design. 
• ••••• 

110 



TIGER SLAYER BY ORDER 

With a view to instilling a sporting spirit amongst my 
men, I introduced gymkhanas for the police force, in- 
cluding tent-pegging, etc., in which other officials in the 
station often took a part, as well as some of the officers 
from the military depot nine miles off, who occasionally 
came in. 

As prices advanced, however, owing to the famine, and 
living consequently became dearer, many Europeans put 
down their horses and took to bicycles instead. Finding 
these as convenient and necessarily more economical, 
several retained them permanently, with the result that 
bicycle, in place of horse, events became ultimately the 
chief feature in these gymkhana. 

No doubt some of the feats performed on these machines 
were extraordinarily clever, but I often used to wonder 
what our veteran sportsmen — now retired or defunct — 
would have said to seeing the horse supplanted by such 
inanimate steeds as these ! For performances on the latter, 
however clever and complicated they might be, can 
scarcely ^be compared with the bare-backed mounted events, 
and other daring equine feats, which, in the days of these 
old sportsmen, constituted the gymkhana. 

****** 

During the period I was stationed at Nasik, I spent all 
my Christmases as usual in camp, going one year for ten 
days to Pal, in my old District Khandesh, and one of my 
favourite old haunts where I had heard tigers had increased 
considerably since I left. 

I hoped therefore to get some, and possibly bison too, 
for though I had killed so many of the latter, and have 
several good heads, I had never kept a mask, so was 
anxious to get one to set up. 

The cold at Pal is so intense that we had finally to 
abandon our tents and take up our quarters in a small, 
forest hut, built of mud, and consisting of three small 
rooms. It had been built by a certain cheery individual, 

a doctor named P , who, in a fit of generosity, presented 

it to the Government. 

He used to be very amusing on the subject of the Govern- 
ment Resolution he had received in return, thanking him 
for his munificent gift, but poor as was the building I often 
120 



KHANDESH REVISITED 

blessed him for luivmg built it, as it had afforded me warm 
shelter on many an occasion. 

My trip this time, however, proved somewhat unprofit- 
able, so far as the shooting was concerned, though it was 
very pleasant to be back again amongst old scenes and 
faces, for many of the shikaris I had known, and friends 
from native states, all came in to welcome me. They had 
quite decided that being now a married man, I could no 
longer be the keen shikari I had been, and I was very glad 
of the opportunity of correcting this impression. 

In addition to my wife a friend from the Deolali depot 
accompanied me on this trip, the best and cheeriest of 
comrades, who almost directly afterwards, poor fellow, 
was killed in the South African campaign. We had several 
blank beats, and on one occasion I was posted with my wife 
on the identical tree from which many years before I had 
killed a tigress, though suffering at the time from a severe 
attack of ague. 

I remember trembling so violently while the beast came 
on, that I was afraid her attention would be attracted to 
the tree. However, she came out straight toward me, and 
managing, somehow, to get ray shaking rifle on to her, I 
rolled her over with a bullet through the forehead. 

The blank Ix'ats I have mentioned continued for some 
days. At last, late one morning, we got good khubbar of a 
tiger having killed one of the buffaloes we had tied up as 
bait. 

We started off at once, but the place was a long distance 
away, and by the time we arrived there, and made all 
arrangements for the beat, it was already late afternoon. 

As my friend H had never shot a tiger I was par- 

iicularly anxious that he should have the shot, so gave him 
the l>est place, but it was a ver\' large piece of jungle and 
difficult, not merely to beat, but to conunand all its natural 
outlets with two guns only. 

However, as it happened, at the first sound of the 
beaters, a fine tiger came out about fifty yards from his 

tree, but behind him, and as H could not turn round 

quickly enough, the beast went on. 

As soon as I realized that H was unable to fire, 

aiul that the tiger, if not stopi)ed, would probably get away, 

121 



TIGER SLAYER BY ORDER 

I took a snap shot at him, as he was galloping through the 
undergrowth, but unfortunately missed. 

He was, however, turned by one of the stops and roared. 

We then discovered that there was another tiger or 
tigress in the jungle, for the roar was instantly repUed to, 
and presently the two beasts, roaring alternately, kept 

charging the beaters in turn, both H and my wife 

being greatly impressed by the volume of sound they 
produced. 

Meanwhile the sun having gone down the light was 
fading rapidly, and I saw that the only thing to be done was 
to stop the beat and get out of the jungle as quietly as we 
could, in the hope of getting them the next day. 

We found, however, that to get out of the jungle, 
quietly or otherwise, was more difficult than I had imagined. 
The tigers having been disturbed and hustled were now 
thoroughly savage, charging out whenever the stops tried 
to leave their trees, and we had finally to go round to each 
and get the men down under cover of our rifles, and it was 
quite dark when we reached home. 

Next morning on visiting the jungle we found that both 
the tigers had cleared off — probably during the night or 
early morning ; we accordingly returned to camp, and 
drove on to Nasik, thoroughly disappointed, and Avith 
nothing more agreeable to remind us of this trip than a 
severe attack of malaria, which each and all of us, including 
all our servants, had managed to pick up ! 

In addition to its other attractions, some of which I 
have attempted to describe, Nasik has long enjoyed a 
reputation for its possession of antiquities ; the most 
celebrated amongst them being its old brass idols, 
chains, etc., etc., and many officials stationed there from 
time to time have, in days gone by, made valuable collec- 
tions of genuinely antique specimens of these articles. 

Latterly, however, tourists, notably Americans, have 
paid such long prices for these curiosities that there are 
now few of the genuine article left. Nevertheless the wily 
natives, finding the demand for them in no way diminished, 
has proved himself quite equal to the occasion by importing 
large quantities from England ! 

Made, probably in Birmingham, and admirably executed 
122 



SHOOTING FROM LADDERS 

in imitation of the original, these are then buried or put 
down an old well for a season, whence they issue as "antique" 
as even an American could desire, and would trouble the 
most exp)ert of experts to detect. 

These are now hawked round and sold at most profitable 
rates, as I know to my cost, having purchased some myself, 
till I had learned to be wiser. But the genuine article, 
such as bed and swing chains, all beautifully carved, which 
in former years could be obtained for the price of their 
weight, as brass, now fetches as much as Rs.lOO each, 
and are difficult to obtain even at this price. 

♦ »*»♦» 

My period of service at Nasik having expired I was next 
posted to Dharwar, a pretty healthy spot, situated in the 
western ghats. It was considered at one time quite a good 
district for big game, but the increase of cultivation, and 
the clearing of the forest, has practically ruined the shooting, 
and big game can now be obtained only after much trouble 
and arrangement. 

I found it was the practice in this part of the country, 
and in Kanara, for sportsmen, when beating for tiger or 
other big game, to shoot from ladders propped up against 
a tree, instead of sitting on the tree itself as is generally 
done elsewhere. 

These ladders are specially made for the purpose, 
having a kind of seat on the topmost rung, but this seemed 
to me a clumsy arrangement, for besides being cumbersome 
to carry about, they are liable to slip, and also likely to 
attract the attention of the animal. 

I had some trouble, however, in inducing the local 
shikaris to use the simpler contrivance employed in 
Khandesh, which consists of two poles, each about five 
feet long. These are fixed parallel to each other, across 
two or more projecting branches, thus forming, not only 
a comfortable seat, but one from which the sportsman 
can shoot in all directions. 

Moreover, in a perch made in this manner the occupant 
absolutely safe, whereas a ladder, as I have said, is Uable 
to slip, and in a case I heard of later, actually did, causing 
a serious accident. 

The incident happened to Colonel P , a celebrated 



I 



TIGER SLAYER BY ORDER 

Kanara sportsman, who told me of it himself, and though 
there was a comic side to the story, the incident in itself 
came near to ending in as terrible a tragedy as it would be 
possible to imagine. It appears that on one occasion while 
shooting with a young civilian, just out from home, he was 
climbing to his position when the ladder slipped, the fall 
breaking his thigh. The youngster ran to assist him, and 

P , who was in excruciating agony, and hardly knew 

what he was saying, called out, " Oh, for God's sake shoot 
me!" 

A few moments later, having recovered his composure, 
he found, to his horror, the muzzle of a rifle pointing to 
his head and the trembling young civilian evidently about 
to carry out the request he had involuntarily uttered ! 
I refrain from describing the language he used, but it was 
not complimentary to the intelligence of his friend, who 
in his opinion, as he told him, was fit only for a mad-house, 
or at best, an appointment in the Secretariat ! 

In a village of the Dharwar district, near to Ranu- 
brunner, there is a very interesting temple dedicated to 
the worship of the god Khundobar, a very ancient deity 
to whom, however, there are now very few temples re- 
maining. 

The special one referred to stands on the summit of a 
small hill, and is deserving of mention if only for the very 
curious attitude adopted by the worshippers at this shrine, 
who, when practising their devotions, assume the characters 
of dogs. Tradition has it that this particular god to whom 
the temple is erected, was a great shikari, and, with his 
pack of hounds, hunted the hills around, but strangely 
enough in the one or two other temples, to this god, still 
remaining, there is no trace of the canine portion of the 
legend at all. 

Girls are still dedicated to the use of this temple, and the 
dog-devotees are furnished from the villages round about, 
certain families undertaking to supply a number, presum- 
ably in each generation. They live on the villagers, 
apparently do no work, and are in fact a perfect pest. 

When the temple authorities are informed that any 
official wishes to see the temple, they generally make as 
imposing a show as possible, collecting a number of the 
124 



DOG-DEVOTEES 

devotees, who are rough-looking specimens, wearing black, 
hairy caps, red sashes, and are of a generally shaggy 
appearance all over. 

The presiding priest, on receipt of baksheesh, produces 
some bananas, which he slices up, and placing them on small 
brass troughs, calls up the " dogs." These come scrambling 
along on all fours, barking and yelping, and even fighting, 
growling and biting at each other over the troughs, till 
having secured a trough each, return to a comer to eat 
it in solitude. 

They do not use their hands, but eat too, like dogs from 
the troughs, which are beautifully made in solid brass and 
very old. One of my friends was lucky enough to pick 
up one of these, as they are diflficult to buy, and also 
some of the little images of horses from the temple. The 
god himself is not repulsive to look at, and his images often 
have the symbolical five cobras over their heads. 

After the dog-devotees have been fed, and if the baksheesh 
has been generous, and the supply of bananas plentiful, 
they will give a further exhibition of their dog-like antics, 
growling, fighting, leaping, howling, and rolling about in 
a ridiculous and most repulsive manner, and finally canter 
barking down the hill by way of giving their departing 
visitors a good send off. 

These people also attend the larger fairs, attracting 
huge crowds by their many tricks with knives and skewers, 
which they pass through the muscles of their arms, thighs, 
and calvis, till they are streaming with blood. It is said 
that by certain methods of massage and manipulation they 
are able to place the knives between the muscles, and thus 
avoid any serious injury resulting from the wound. Doubt- 
less this strange worship with its many corruptions will 
eventually die out, and the sooner the better, for though 
the ridiculous antics are amusing for a time, and evidenUy 
enjoyed by the performers themselves, their mode of life 
cannot fail to be degrading. 



1S5 



CHAPTER XVII 

The Western Ghats — Castle Rock and Morumgoa — Fine scenery — Spend 
a hot season at Castle Rock — A kill in a ravine — The guns posted — A 
tiger viewed — A doubtful hit — Bapu the optimist — A tell-tale leaf — 
An advance in close order — The enemy prepares to charge — Careful 
shooting necessary — Success — FolloA\ing up a wounded bear — A 
curious story — Second sight — An apparition in the night — Convincing 
evidence — An apology to my readers — Another tiger marked down — 
Caught napping — An unexpected encounter — My perilous position — 
Face to face — A desperate proceeding — Seeking refuge in a bush — A 
precarious shelter — Suspense relieved — A lucky shot — Curious evidence 
of a recent victim — A man-eating panther — Carries off a child — The 
body found — Watching over the remains — An eerie vigil — A jackal 
greedy but suspicious — The panther at last — Creeping up to the 
" kill " — Only five yards off — A steady shot at his chest — Hit but not 
dead — Too dangerous to foUow up by night — The hunt resumed — 
Tracking by blood and footprints — Found dead — A well-nourished 
beast — The fallacy of theories regarding man-eaters. 

The magnificent scenery of the Western Ghats is too well 
known to need any description, and is too beautiful for any 
one — except an expert with pen or pencil — to depict. 
Castle Rock on the S. M. Railway and Morumgoa were 
the two places we generally went to. 

The latter used to be at one time somewhat famous 
for the number of tigers and panthers to be found in the 
neighbourhood, and a friend of mine, who was once stationed 
there as consul and head of the railway, shot a good many. 
The jungles around still contain some of these beasts, and 
bison, too, I believe. 

These jungles, which connect with those of the Kanara 
District, contain many a hill and valley of quite extra- 
ordinary beauty, and in the course of our shikar expedition 
we often came on exquisite little nooks and streams bordered 
with the Royal Osmunda fern. 

The whole of our hot weather we spent at Castle Rock 
126 



BAPU TRIUMPHANT 

where I was then acting as Railway — as well as District — 
Superintendent of Police, and while shooting towards the 

end of that hot season with two friends, W and B , 

we received news of a tiger having killed and eaten the 
greater part of a buffalo we had tied up the night before. 

The kill was in a deep ravine filled with high grass and 
bushes and flanked on both sides by huge masses of rocky 
boulders. 

We had taken up our positions on trees, after sending 
men round to drive towards us, when we heard loud shouts, 
followed by roars from the tiger. Presently one of the 
stops to my right called out that the tiger had broken back. 
Scarcely had the man spoken, when there was another 
uproar among the beaters, and the next moment I saw the 
tifrer coming along the bed of the ravine at a brisk trot 
id roaring loudly all the time. 

When about sixty yards from my tree, he suddenly 

,)rang up the bank. I had now only occasional views of 

Iiim among the boulders, but noting an open space across 

which he was bound to pass, I watched it closely with my 

rille ready, and as he was crossing it, I fired. 

He swerved distinctly at the shot and disappeared over 

le ridge. Meanwhile the beaters having come up, we 

followed on the tracks, but finding no blood my friends 

^nd their shikaris naturally concluded I had missed. I 

;is very confident, however, I had hit him somewhere, 

and while W and B were condoling with me on 

my miss, Bapu my own shikari, who had great faith in his 

I aster's shooting, and had followed on alone on the track 

mn back to us, and with a broad grin illuminating his 

nigged features, held up a leaf on wliich there was a few 

Mccks of blood. 

To follow the tiger up now was a task attended with 

'■ 'me danger, for the cover was very dense and high, being 

•mposed mastly of thick bamboo jungle. 

Keeping well together, however, with the guns in front 

we proceeded cautiously, halting frequently to allow of 

the men climbing into trees and examining the ground 

'fore us, in hopes of obtaining a view of the beast. 

Suddenly Bapu, who was leading, dropped on all fours, 

pointing in front of him, and at the same moment 1 caught 

127 



L 



TIGER SLAYER BY ORDER 

sight of the tiger crouching behind a clump of bamboos. 
CalHng to the others that I had seen him, and warning them 
that he was wounded and therefore dangerous, we con- 
tinued to advance, but more cautiously than before. 

When within about ten yards of her, for she proved tc 
be a tigress, I noticed the end of her tail twitching nervously 
like that of a cat when stalking a bird, and knowing from 
this that she was on the point of charging, I took careful 
aim and fired. 

The bullet, striking her between the neck and shoulders, 
killed her on the spot, which was fortunate, for had she 
made good her charge, one or more of us must assuredly 
have been mauled, if not killed. She was a handsome 
beast though small, being only eight feet six inches, but 
with a finely marked skin. 

On return to camp, the village turned out in great num 
bers and were much rejoiced, in their own apathetic way 
for it seemed she had killed a number of their cattle, tht 
ravine where she had made her lair being close to the 
village. 

My first bullet we found had struck her rather low, 
but being in a good line with the shoulder, she would 
no doubt have died eventually from the wound. 

****** 

Writing of following up wounded animals, reminds me 
of a very curious story connected with a sad accident that 

occurred in this way some years ago, when C of the 

I.C.S. was terribly mauled by a bear. 

While shooting in Khandesh at the foot of the Satpura 
Hills, it seems he had wounded a bear the day before, and 
w^hile following up the blood-tracks the next day, the 
vicious brute charged him, inflicting ghastly wounds, and 
though he was taken on to the nearest place, Chopda, and 
attended to, he died before medical aid could reach him. 

The curious part of the story is, that his wife, who 

happened to be staying with Mrs. H , a friend of mine 

at the time, and occupying the same bedroom, was awakened 
during the night and saw her husband in the room. She^ 
spoke to him, expressing her surprise at his returning sc 
unexpectedly, then waking her friend, apologized to hei 
for the unceremonious manner in which he had come in. 
128 



A CASE OF SECOND SIGHT 

and getting out of bed apparently followed him into 
another room. 

Mrs. H , who had seen nothing herself, was naturally 

at a loss to understand what she meant, but feehng some- 

w Jiat alarmed, got up at once and followed Mrs. C into 

the room where she had gone, to find her lying on the floor 
in a swoon. 

On coming round she told Mrs. H that she felt sure 

iier husband had met with some accident, as his clothes were 
all torn and he was bleeding from wounds on his face and 
body. 

The next day Mrs. H received a telegram saying that 

C was dead and asking her to break the news to his wife. 

The story was told me by Mrs. H herself on whom 

the incident had naturally made a great impression, and 
as she was by no means an hysterical person, or given to 
romancing, I can only suppose she was repeating what had 
c;tually occurred. 

In writing a narrative of adventures, extending over 
so long a period as thirty years, it is difficult to remember 
the sequence of events. I must therefore make this my 
Kcuse for introducing here an account of an experience 
with some tigers which should have been included in the 
description of the shooting expedition I made with Colonel 
Philips, part of which was described in a previous chapter. 

Of the two tigers bagged on this trip, the one which 
fell to my rifle was a large heavy beast with an extra- 
ordinarily short tail. 

The men had marked him down in a small dry sandy 
ravine with barely any cover, the last place one would have 
thought a tiger would he up in, more especially as there 
Nvas a thickly wo(xied ravine not very far. 

But, as our Bhils remarked in their quaintly worded 
Hindustani, ''Wo bagh burru lumba sey aya," * and I 
have no doubt that having made a heavy meal, he had 
used that ravine as a temporary shelter on his way to 
iuavicr cover, and had thus been caught napping. We 
found later that he had in fact killed a bullock just before. 

* " That tiger ha* oome a loug distauoe." 

K 139 



TIGER SLAYER BY ORDER 

We tossed up for places, and Philips winning the toss, 
chose the more likely post, a small teak tree standing at 
the head of the ravine. After seeing him comfortably 
installed, I took up my post, some fifty yards to his extreme 
right on a side path leading to the covert, my idea being 
to intercept the tiger should he attempt to leave the 
ravine by this path, which, however, was not very likely, as 
the ground, except for a few scanty thorn bushes here and 
there was practically bare. 

The shouts of the beaters were soon challenged by a 
loud roar from the tiger on my friend's left, and I was 
gazing intently in his direction, momentarily expecting to 
hear the report of his rifle, when I suddenly felt there was 
some one behind me. Instantly looking round, I was 
horrified to find myself face to face with a huge tiger, 
with scarcely a yard between us. Fortunately the beast 
was so intent on slinking away from the beaters that he 
had evidently not seen me ; my clothes, sunburnt arms, 
face and legs being all much the same colour as the ground. 
To blaze into his face, drop my rifle and dive into the 
thorn bushes, was all the work of an instant, and in this 
precarious shelter I remained, perfectly still, and hardly 
daring to breathe. Presently, to my intense relief and 
joy, I heard one of the stops calling out that the tiger 
was dead. 

It had been killed by the veriest accident, the bullet 
merely grazing the top of the head, but providentially deep 

enough to fracture the skull. P , who now joined me, 

was full of congratulations at my wonderful escape, for 
he had witnessed the whole incident from his tree. 

He now told me how the tiger had shown himself for 
a moment on his left, and as suddenly dropped into the 
nullah, and passing one of the stops who failed to stop 
him, had gone creeping stealthily along in my direction 
with his chin almost touching the ground, and his eyes 
gazing straight in front of him. 

On skinning the tiger, which as I have said was an 
exceptionally big one, we found the broken quill of a 
porcupine deeply embedded in his jaws and paws. 

****** 

I think I have already stated somewhere that when a 
130 



A MAN-EATING PANTHER 

paiither takes to man-killing, he becomes a far more terrible 
scourge than even the more famous man-eating tiger. 

One of the worst examples of a man-eating panther I 
have come across was on one occasion when I was en- 
camped at Wagra, a small Bhil hamlet consisting of a few 
huts, in the Bharwana State. A large panther had carried 
off a child, in broad dayhght, who was playing with other 
children within a stone's throw of the village. The same 
animal had also, it appeared, killed and eaten a woman, 
collecting fire-wood, a short time before, but her body 
was never found. 

It was late in the afternoon when I heard of the animal's 
latest victim, and going at once to the spot, I took up the 
tracks along a deep nullah which skirted the village, and 
presently came upon the body of the child. There were 
the usual fang-marks on the throat, and a portion of the 
chest and abdomen had been eaten. 

After much persuasion the relatives of the dead child 
yielded to my request to leave the corpse where it lay in 
order that I might sit up near it, in the hope that the 
panther might return, when by shooting it I could, as I 
pointed out to them, rid the village of the pest. 

There was no suitable tree on wliich I could build a 
machan, so I concealed myself behind a bush, adding a few 
branches as a further protection, but so arranged that I 
could look through them. 

I decided to sit alone as my Havildar-cum-Shikari, 
though very keen to watch with me, had unfortunately a 
bad cough at the time, and I was afraid lest an untimely 
iroxysm occurring, he should scare the beast away. 

In my previous remarks on man-eaters I have pohited 
it that the rapidity and uncertainty of their movements 
make it most diHicult to locate them, and that they are very 
wary and cuwtious in approaching a kill. I therefore took 
every precaution to prevent myself being seen or heard ; 
and in addition to my Uigby riile had also a D.B. 10-bore 
loaded with slugs. 

It was a bright moonlight night, and the intense still- 

ss ol" the jungle, plus the ghastly object over which I was 

itching, had a none too pleasing effect on my nerves, 

and as the night drew on I felt distinctly ^creepy.'* 

181 



TIGER SLAYER BY ORDER 

Presently a single jackal appeared and giving a quick 
pull at the corpse as quickly slunk away, looking continu- 
ally behind him. Just then I saw a huge panther coming 
stealthily along among the bushes, fringing the nullah 
banks, and halting about fifteen yards off, stood gazing 
intently in my direction. I thought at first it was a tiger, 
so enormous did the beast appear in the moonlight, and 
I was meditating whether to fire or let him come closer, 
when he again crept forward, and then stood facing me 
about five yards off. Now was my chance, and aiming 
very deliberately at his chest I pulled the trigger slowly. 
Acknowledging the shot with a loud roar he plunged into 
the thicket where he now remained though hidden from 
my sight. 

That he was hit I had no doubt, for presently there 
issued from the covert a succession of low groans with an 
occasional deep coughing sigh, and although I could not 
see him, I guessed from the sound that my bullet had done 
its work. My men on hearing the report of the rifle now 
came up with lighted torches, all keen to advance into the 
jungle, but I would not allow them to embark on such a 
dangerous task by night, for though almost convinced the 
beast was dead, the risk seemed too great. 

By the first streak of dawn we were up and on our way 
to the jungle, where, on arrival, I was startled to find the 
corpse, or what remained of it, had disappeared. Could 
it be that I had missed the beast after all, or that he had 
again returned to his kill and completed his dreadful 
feast ? I hardly thought it possible, and yet it seemed 
unpleasantly like it. Happily a closer examination proved 
to us that it was the hyenas and jackals who had been 
feasting on the remains, for the footprints of these animals 
were plainly visible all round. 

But the tracks of the panther too were there, which 
we now took up, and, aided by the blood, of which there 
was a quantity on the trail, we soon came up to him, lying 
stone dead in a bush. 

On examining the body I found my express bullet had 
struck him exactly in the centre of the chest, smashing 
the heart and lungs to pieces. 

He measured just seven feet eight inches from tip of 
132 



AN EXPLODED THEORY RE MAN-EATERS 

nose to end of tail, and was a stout heavy beast, very 
different to the mangy toothless creature which, according 
to the now exploded theory, all man-eaters were believed 
to be. This one, in fact, was exceptionally well nourished, 
thus proving that, odious as was the habit he had acquired, 
the diet he had taken to evidently agreed with him. 



188 



CHAPTER XVIII 

A bait taken — Living animals as bait — A seemingly cruel practice — 
Reasons for adopting it — A tigress put up — Missed — Charging through 
the beaters — Cubs discovered — An all-night vigil — The tigress returns — 
Finding her cubs — Process described — An opportunity lost — The cubs 
disappear — Tigress or ghost — How the cubs were removed — Morning 
at last — Tracking up — Death of the tigress — The cubs found — Dharwar 
again — A shooting camp — News of game — Daily disappointments — Two 
tigers reported at last — The beat — Turned by a stop — A roar and a rush 
— A hurried shot — Instantaneous effects — The tiger's mate — Beaters 
charged again — Marked dovm — Drawing lots for places — A tempting 
offer — Why I rejected it — Premature congratulation — The tigress 
let off again — Questions and answers — Extraordinary performance — 
Subsequent explanations — What might have been accomphshed — 
The shikaris' disgust — A panther in my tent — My dogs wake me up — A 
desperate struggle in the dark — Firing haphazard — A sudden crash — 
Ominous silence — The servants aroused — They arrive with a lantern 
— What the light revealed — One dog missing — Carried off by a panther 
— A fruitless pursuit in the dark — Resumed at daybreak — Remains of 
Rover found — An unsuccessful vigU — The spot re- visited months later 
— A panther shot — Was it the same ? 

I HAVE, I think, in a previous chapter describing the tiger 
and its ways, made mention of the curious manner in 
which the tigress feeds her cubs. I was once fortunate 
enough to witness this strange meal. 

I had received news of this particular tigress late one 
afternoon. She was said to have killed one of my tied- 
up buffaloes, and was reported to be lying up in a ravine 
some eight miles from my camp. 

I have already stated elsewhere that one of the methods 
employed to locate a tiger or panther is to bait the jungles 
in the neighbourhood he frequents, that is to say, to tie 
up buffaloes or goats, as the case may be, in all places 
which he is likely to pass in order that he may kill one, 
and thus give the sportsman a chance of locating him. 

This tying up of live animals for the tiger or panther 
184 



THE TIGRESS AND HER CUBS 

to devour, may appear, at first sight, to be a somewhat 
cruel proceeding, but it must be remembered that neither 
of these animals will touch a dead bait, therefore the only 
chance of locating them is to place some live animal in 
their way, and thus by sacrificing the life of one buffalo 
or goat, accomplish the destruction of a beast that has 
already killed many of both, and if not destroyed himself, 
will kill many more, and possibly some human beings as 
well. 

But to go on with my story. 

My men had as usual arranged the beat admirably, 
and I had not been long posted when the tigress came 
out about fifty yards to my left front. I had a very fair 
shot at her, but though I emptied both my barrels, she was 
evidently untouched, and charging through the beaters 
with a succession of loud roars, disappeared into some 
thick jungle beyond. 

FeeUng very much ashamed of myself, I went back 
with the men to the spot from which she had started, where 
we found three cubs lying asleep at the bottom of a nullah ; 
they were handsome little beasts, and about the size of a 
domestic cat. 

The beat had been a long one, and darkness was coming 
on apace. Nevertheless, I decided to sit up for the tigress 
over her cubs, for that she would return to them there was 
not the slightest doubt. 

Selecting a convenient tree, we hastily constructed a 
machan on which Eloo and myself, with the aid of some 
native blankets, were soon as comfortably installed as 
circumstances would admit of. The rest of the men 
ro turned to camp, their services being no longer required. 

The moon was at its full ; the night therefore was 
ihiiost as bijn'ht as day, which was " ite, for otherwise 

uc laiuht J... >sii)ly have both gone* •! ^ p. Itmusthave 

been somewhere between twelve and one when I heard 
<))c cubs making a peculiar gruntling kind of noise which 
ts immediately followed by the appearanoe of the tigress 
11 tiie scene. 

So quietly had she approached that neither of us was 
aware that she was coming. She stood over the cubs for a 
wliilo. lIuMi. to our astonishment* we heard her unmistakably 

185 



TIGER SLAYER BY ORDER 

going through the process of disgorging, followed by the 
equally distinct sound of the cubs greedily lapping up what 
their mother had disgorged. 

So interested was I in these proceedings, that I never 
thought of firing at her, and after a few seconds, she 
disappeared, or rather glided away as stealthily as she had 
come, and it was only then I realized how foolish I had 
been, to have lost so good a chance ; however, this made 
me all the more determined to have a shot at her, should 
she come again, as I hoped she would. 

Hours went by and I think I must have been asleep, 
for the next thing I remember was Eloo, clutching me by 
the arm, and saying, " Sahib, she has been again and has 
taken away the cubs." Being naturally much annoyed, 
I asked him angrily why he had not awakened me. " I 
was too frightened, Sahib," he answered. " She is not 
a tiger at all, but a Shaitan,* we had better leave her alone." 

I could hardly believe the man's story, but looking 
down at the spot where the cubs had been I could see that 
they were certainly not there. He then described to me 
how the tigress had again come in the same ghostly fashion, 
her approach being heralded as before by the gruntling 
noises uttered by the cubs, and how she had taken one up 
in her mouth and carried it away, evidently repeating the 
process with the other two, for there had been three cubs 
in all. 

Morning broke at last, and when the men returned we 
took up the tracks of the tigress, finally marking her down 
in a ravine about three-quarters of a mile away. Here, 
having taken up my position, I had eventually the satis- 
faction of bowling her over as she passed underneath my 
tree. 

We then looked for the cubs and found them secreted 
in some high grass at the edge of the ravine, where she had 
evidently carried them. We brought all three of them 
home. One died after a time, but the other two throve 
well, and eventually grew up to be the two troublesome 
pets, of which mention has been made in a previous chapter. 

dis Mf ^ ^ 4e 9|c 

* Devil, meaning here, probably, " ghost." 
136 



A SERIES OF DISAPPOINTMENTS 

Once more I find myself wandering back, this time to 
Dharvvar, and again to tell a tale of my adventures with 
some tigers which should have been chronicled before ; 
but for reasons already stated, I have abandoned all 
attempt at chronological narrative, and will now relate 
each incident as it comes back to my mind. 

The one I am now about to tell of occurred at Tadas, 
a village some eighteen miles from Dharwar, and it was 
during one Christmas vacation I had arranged to meet two 
friends, who, for the purpose of this story, may be 
designated respectively as W and M . 

From the shikaris, who had preceded us, we heard on 
our arrival that two tigers and a panther were believed to 
be in some outlying jungle, we had accordingly reasonable 
expectation of good sport. 

Luck, however, was against us, for though we were 
out almost daily on information seemingly reUable, search- 
ing the jungle for several miles around, the beasts we 
were in quest of always managed somehow to evade us, 
till at last in desperation we decided to devote our attention 
to smaller game. 

Duck and snipe were fortunately plentiful, on and 
around the several tanks contiguous to the camp, and as 
we had a Berthon boat with us, it helped us in this sport, 
as well as affording us much amusement, for the boat was 
small and frail, and our eccentric handling of it, especially 
under sail, added much to our enjoyment of the sport. 

We had, in fact, become almost resigned to our dis- 
appointment as regards the larger game we had hoped to 
meet with, when one morning a man came running into 
the camp to report that two tigers had just been marked 
down by our shikari, who had been all this time, we knew, 
on the look out. On cross-examination, however, this 
Khuijhar did not seem very convincing, and having been 
so often disappointed, we had become somewhat sceptical 
in the matter of such news. The tigers — in this instance, 
however — were said to be lying up in a likely covert, viz. 
a small rocky ravine with dense masses of creepers and 
brushwood. 

In these circumstances we decided to try our luck once 

"^^^'■'' ' accordingly lost no time in starting for the spot, 

137 



TIGER SLAYER BY ORDER 

Here, after drawing lots for places, we took up our position, 
climbing stealthily into our respective trees, and taking 
all precautions to avoid making any noise for fear of dis- 
turbing the beasts. 

As the beaters advanced I saw one of the tigers coming, 
creeping along directly for my position, but owing to the 
density of the covert, I could only catch occasional glimpses 
of him, for the striped skin of a tiger harmonizes so extra- 
ordinarily with the surrounding foliage as a rule, that it is 
often very difficult to detect him. 

Just in front of my tree, however, was a clear space 
about five yards in width, so I determined not to fire till 
the beast could reach this opening, and thus give me a more 
certain shot ; but while waiting for this I heard one of 
the stops suddenly snap a twig and guessed at once that 
the tiger was trying to sneak up one of the side paths. 

It was a moment of intense excitement, for everything 
now depended as to whether the stop had succeeded in 
preventing the beast from turning into the side path or 
not. Presently, however, there was a roar and a rush 
and the next moment the tiger appeared, immediately 
below me, going at a fast gallop, and in another instant 
would have disappeared into the dense covert beyond, but 
realizing the necessity for immediate action, I fired at once, 
and the heavy bullet from my Rigby Express striking the 
base of the neck divided the spine. 

Death was instantaneous, and much to my delight the 
mighty beast sank down on his tracks. As the report from 
my rifle went echoing through the jungle, the other tiger, 
or rather tigress, for such she proved to be, broke back 
through the beaters, fortunately without doing them any 
harm. 

We took up her tracks, finally marking her down in an 
open ravine, the sloping banks of which were studded with 
thick trees and curra — a coarse kind of reed. 

We drew lots again for places, and took up our position, 

mine being the upper end of the covert, while W and 

M were on the banks to the left and right of me 

respectively, the best post having fallen to M . 

On hearing the beaters advance the tigress came 
trotting down the nullah, and when she was almost opposite 
138 



LETTING OFF A TIGRESS 

my post I gave a low whistle. She halted at once at the 
sound, offering me a splendid shot, and at a distance of 
not more than thirty yards. I would not fire, however, as 

I was anxious for my friend M to get the shot, for he 

had seemed very keen, and I knew had never seen a tiger 
in the wild state before. My whistling had the effect de- 
sired, for presently the beast turned to the right, and going 
leisurely up the bank, passed immediately under the tree 

occupied by M . I was congratulating myself on 

having, as I thought, procured him his first tiger, when to 
my amazement, I saw the beast pass on unmolested, and 
disappear into some thick jungle beyond. Totally at a 
loss to understand his object in thus deliberately allowing 
the tiger to escape, I shouted to him asking what had 
happened, and " Why he had not fired at the beast." The 
last query being somewhat more peremptory in tone, and 
less politely worded, as was only natural after what he had 
— or rather hadn't — done ! 

His answer to my question was, if possible, more 

•ravating still, for his reply was, " I don't know," to 
iich he added, "the tiger has gone away," seemingly 
quite surprised that the beast should have taken advan- 
tage of the opportunity he had given him to escape I 

However, he explauied to us later that he was so 
taken aback at the sudden appearance of the tigress, that 
he had never thought of firing at her, but that he was 
quite satisfied as he could now say he had actually seen a 
tiger ! Though this was little consolation to me, who 

could so easily have shot her, or for our friend VV , 

who would have given a great deal for such a chance, and 
was, moreover, a good shot. It was a great disappoint- 
ment, for the feat of having bagged two tigers in a district like 
Dhanvar, where they were now so scarce and sought after, 
would have been an event long to be remembered. How- 
ever, M being such a good fellow, we spared him the 

rating he so richly deserved, being quite certain, moreover, 
that when he realized what a chance he had lost his remorse 
would be in itself suflicicnt punishment. 

Our beaters and shikaris too, were greatly disappointed, 
and, not unnaturally, felt somewhat aggrieved, for as they 
said, '' We take all the risk and trouble to beat up a tiger 

189 



TIGER SLAYER BY ORDER 

to the Sahib and when we drive it past his post he will 
not shoot it." 

We never got this tigress, for after the fiasco I have 

described, it was too late to track her further that evening, 

and though our men, despite their disappointment, worked 

loyally for some days, they failed to mark her down again. 

****** 

In my remark about panthers, made in a previous chap- 
ter, I mentioned that they sometimes come into a camp 
at night, and have since quoted an adventure of this kind 
experienced by a friend. I now remember one which 
happened to myself when encamped at Chap-Pani, a 
desolate village situated in the heart of the Satpudas. 

It was a wild lonely spot, and being just the kind of 
place where a wild animal might be likely to visit the 
camp, I always slept with my gun under the mattress, and 
my two dogs. Snap and a Persian greyhound named Rover, 
chained to the foot of my bed. 

One night, a particularly dark one, I remember, I was 
sleeping in my tent, near which were the servants, all also 
asleep, round their smouldering fire, when I was awakened 
by the loud barking of the dogs, which were plunging and 
tugging at their chains, in their frantic struggles to get 
free. At least, so I suppose, for I could see nothing, the 
tent being dark as pitch. 

I guessed at once — or as soon as I had had time to 
collect my thoughts — that one of them had been seized 
by a panther, and springing out of bed, I shouted loudly 
for help, at the same time firing my gun in the direction 
whence the sounds proceeded, risking the chance of killing 
the dogs. 

The scuffle ceased at once, there was a sudden crash, 
then an ominous silence, and I knew, or rather felt instinc- 
tively, that one at least of the two dogs had gone. By 
this time the servants were aroused and came in with a 
lantern, when we found that, as I had guessed, one of the 
dogs was missing. It was the greyhound Rover, which 
had been dragged or carried off, and, undoubtedly, by a 
panther. 

There was a deep ravine just below the camp along 
which the beast had gone. We followed this up rapidly, 
140 



THE PANTHER'S VICTIM 

shouting and firing the gun at intervals as we advanced, 
on the chance that the panther might be scared and drop 
the dog. The latter was apparently still ahve, as we heard 
it give one cry, and encouraged by this we quickened our 
pace, but the panther was evidently travelling faster, for 
though we held on for some time we seemed to get no 
nearer, and were finally obliged to abandon the pursuit. 

The next morning at daybreak we took up the panther's 
tracks, and eventually came upon the remains of my poor 
old Rover, of which the greater portion had been devoured. 
We beat the jungle several times, and tliat night I sat up 
over what was left of the old dog, but the panther, possibly 
scared by our pursuit, did not come back to his kill. 

Some months afterwards I happened to re-visit that 
very spot and had the luck to shoot a huge panther, but 
whether this was the same brute which had deprived me 
of my dog it was naturally impossible to say, but I consoled 
myself with the thought that in all probability it was. 



141 



CHAPTER XIX 

The destruction of panthers — Trapping often necessary — A trap described 
— A trapping incident — Screams in the dead of night — Turning out 
the guard — Rush to the rescue — What was found in the trap — The 
biter bit — " A fine bait for the panther " — Drugged and disorderly — 
Bhil pohce and prisoners — How the position was reversed — A par- 
tridge shooting record — The Dangohia Bhils — An extraordinary race 
— Monkeys and rats as food — Belief in witchcraft — Veneration for 
tigers — Habits and customs — Another quaint people — Professional 
bird-snarers — Their snares described — A terror to legitimate sports- 
men — Why panthers are so destructive — Less dangerous to human 
life than tigers — An example — Sportsmen charged by a wounded 
tiger — Attempt to escape — A fatal shp — Severely mauled — Succumbs 
to injuries — Another fatal accidentr— Wounded tiger in high grass 
jungle — A sudden charge — Savage attack — Shaken hke a rat — Ex- 
traordinary courage shouTi by a Goanese butler — Grappling with a 
tiger unarmed — A double tragedy — Twelve-foot tigers — A myth — 
How to cure and preserve skin and heads — Hot-blooded animals should 
be skinned promptly — Instructions for skinning — Pegging down — 
How to retain proportions — Burnt alum or wood ashes — Trophies to 
be carefully looked after — A curious result of neglect. 

There is probably no wild animal in India so destructive 
and troublesome, especially to the villagers living near the 
jungle it frequents, as the panther. In some districts these 
animals are so numerous that in spite of the numbers shot 
by sporting officials and the local shikaris, it is often found 
necessary to reduce their numbers by catching them in 
traps. 

When I was in Khandesh there were two of these 
panther-traps, belonging to the Bhil Agency, huge iron 
machines, weighing about fifty pounds a-piece, and made 
on the principal of an ordinary gin rat-trap, but with long 
spikes instead of teeth and powerful springs at both 
ends. 

Many were the hyenas I caught with these traps, and 
once a small panther ; but on one memorable occasion, 
142 



THE BITER BIT 

when encamped with my chief, Probyn, at Pansumbal 
[Native States), we captured something larger, though not 
quite the sort of creature we wanted to entrap. 

We had baited the trap one evening with a goat, and 
had set it near a path leading to the village where on the 
previous day we had seen the tracks of a large panther. 
Ihe chances of our capturing him were therefore fairly 
?ood, but as we knew the beast was not likely to take the 
bait till late at night we retired to bed at our usual time. 

We had been asleep some hours when about midnight 
we were awakened by the most imearthly screams, and 
thinking some one had been seized by the panther, we 
jumped out of bed, turned out our police guard, and 
arming ourselves \\-ith guns and spears, we ran to the 
spot whence the sounds proceeded. 

What was our amazement on arrival to find a wretched 
Bhil firmly fixed between the jaws of the trap. He turned 
out to be one of the villagers, who, on hearing the bleating 
of the goat, thought he might as well appropriate it, and 
had thus been actually caught in the very act. 

It was truly a case of " the biter bit ; " fortunately he 

was not severely hurt, though one of the long spikes had 

oed the calf of his leg. He was fortunate, too, in 

L,' rescued at once, for had the panther come up when 

he was in this plight, he might easily have fallen a victim 

to the beast. 

On relating the incident next morning to a petty chief 

•pened to be visiting our camp, he quite seriously 

d, " What a pity, Sahib, you released the man, 

ic would have made a fine bait for the panther." How- 

< » > i , as our visitor was under the influence of opium at 

the time, it is only fair to assume that this somewhat 

suggestion was the outcome of a mind 

ior the moment. 

( )n another occasion this same individual while again 

^ nj.A'ing a i)eriod of temporary mental aberration, due 

to the same cause, suddenly developed an apparently 

istible desire to hack a dead bear to pieoes with his 

id. His intention was fortunately discovered, but 

only just in time to prevent an unusually fine trophy being 

ruined. 

148 



TIGER SLAYER BY ORDER 

This incident reminds me of an amusing story, once 
told me by a friend, in connection with this drug and drink 
habit to which, as I have aheady mentioned in my de- 
scription of these people, the Bhils are unfortunately 
addicted. On the occasion to which this story refers, a 
party of the Bhil Corps Sepoys, while escorting some 
prisoners to the magistrates' camp, came upon a liquor 
shop en route. Unable to resist the temptation, they stopped 
to have a drink, with the result that the Sepoy escort 
ultimately arrived at the camp in a bullock cart, all more 
or less hors de combat, while the prisoners they were supposed 
to be escorting, were acting as their guard ! 

However, this is their only little failing, for taking 
them as a whole, the Bhils are singularly free from the vice 
common to most other Indian natives, and, as sportsmen, 
are, as I have also said before, difficult to beat. They are 
exceptionally expert with the bow, used either with arrows 
or pellets, and in throwing any heavy implement such as 
an axe or hatchet. 

Once when out shooting small game, one of our party 
missed a partridge which rose almost under his feet ; a 
Bhil beater, seeing the miss, threw his hatchet at the bird, 
and, much to the humiliation of the sportsman, and to 
the amazement of us all, knocked it over. 

In my description of the Bhils I find I have omitted 
mention of one section of the tribe, viz. the Dangchias, or 
Dang Bhils, who are probably the most uncivilized of any 
of the wild tribes of India. They live in cone-shaped huts 
made of tree boughs, and feed on vermin, garbage of all 
kinds, monkeys and rats being also a portion of their diet, 
and Mouha spirit their favourite beverage. 

Of clothing they have practically none, the " langote," 
a narrow strip or loin-cloth, and a wisp of cloth round their 
heads being all they use in the way of dress. Like their 
brethren they are strong believers in omens, and greatly 
dread the powers of witches and of the Evil Eye. Their 
most frequent crime is the torturing of the former, gene- 
rally selecting an old woman as their victim. 

Their chief object of worship is the " Vagh Deo," orl 
Tiger God, in whom they believe the souls of their ancestors* 
to have become incarnate. Hence they hold the tiger as 
144 



i 



DANG BHILS AND PHAS PARDHTES 

acred and will never assist in the destruction of this 
mimal. 

Thoroughly disliking work of any kind, they do very 
ittle cultivation. They are ruled by their separate chiefs, 
)r Naiks, who have very high ideas of their dignity as 
[lajahs, claiming to be descended from the Rajpoots, 
!onsequently never descend to labour or work of any sort, 
thinking this fit only for their subjects. They, when not 
esting or idling otherwise, roam about the jungles with 
)Ows and arrows in search of hare or peacocks. 

The country which these Dang Bhils inhabit is most 
mhealthy and difficult of access, consisting as it does of 
I mass of steep, wooded, flat-topped hills, lying to the 
lorth-west of the District of Khandesh. 

While on the subject of Bhils and the sporting pro- 
ilivities of these people, I am reminded of another class or 
;lan, for they can scarcely be termed a tribe, who, though 
:juite distinct from the Bhils, are also sportsmen, but of a 
jomewhat lower order, for to describe them accurately, 
they are professional hunters or snarers of game. 

These Phas Pardhies, as they are called — the word Phas 
meaning a *' snare " — are extraordinarily clever in catch- 
ing partridges and quails whose calls they have learned 
to imitate with an accuracy quite remarkable for any 
human voice to have acquired. In their methods too they 

equally proficient and the snares they employ are most 

niously contrived. They consist of a rack or light 
l)oo rail about four and a half inches high; this rail 
rame has upright poles of bamboo fastened to it about 
six inches apart, between these pieces is a running noose 
of horse-hair. This apparatus being concealed in the grass, 
the birds are slowly driven towards the trap, and in trying 
to pass l)etween the poles are caught by the head, neck, 
or fret as the case may be. 

i was fortunate in being able to secure one of these 
Haj)s, the men being very loatli to part with them, and was 
much struck with the ingenuity of the contrivance and 
exquisit<' delicacy of the workmanship which, as they said 
• riily, cannot be attained nowadays. 

Their traps for catching deer and pigs are made much on 
ii line plan, though naturally on a much larger scale — 

L 14ft 



I 



TIGER SLAYER BY ORDER 

the horse-hair loop is replaced by looped ropes, to which 
are fastened running nooses of gut. 

These Phas Pardhies wander from place to place, 
snaring game, and are a perfect pest to the more legitimate 
sportsman, frightening off the antelope, etc., for miles 
around. However, as they are much addicted to crime, 
too, they are usually under close supervision of the police, 
and therefore their movements can be controlled to some 
extent. 

But to come back to the subject with which this chapter 
opened, I have said there is no animal in India so destruc- 
tive as the panther, and though this is true it would be 
perhaps more correct to say that its notoriety in this 
respect is due, less to the rapacity evinced by individuals 
of the species, than to the fact that, being so much more 
numerous than any other dangerous beasts of prey, their 
depredations are naturally of more frequent occurrence, 
especially as regards cattle, goats, etc. 

As a menace to human life, the panther, even if a con- 
firmed man-eater, is less dangerous than a tiger, for, in 
the first place, being less powerful, its attack can often be 
successfully resisted, and because for the same reason, 
the injuries it is capable of inflicting are necessarily less 
severe. Whereas in the case of tigers their greater weight 
and strength renders their attack practically irresistible, 
while their fangs and claws are so enormous that wounds 
inflicted by either are naturally more serious, and there- 
fore more likely to prove fatal than those made by a panther, 
an animal so much smaller in every repect. 

A very sad example of this was the case of H , 

of the I.C.S., a great friend of mine, who was killed by a 
tiger at Wargaon in the District of Khandesh, while I was 
stationed there. He had wounded a tiger the previous 
day, and while tracking it up was suddenly charged by 
the beast, which had been lying up concealed in the shade 
of an overhanging rock. 

As the tiger charged H fired both barrels into its 

face, but, failing to stop the beast, he turned, and was 
trying to get away, when he slipped and fell forward. 
The tiger was on to him at once, and seizing him by the 
back carried him off some twenty paces. 
146 



TWO SPORTSMEN KILLED BY TIGERS 

A Havildar of the Bhil corps, who was with him at the 
time, ran to his assistance at once, and, verj' pluckily 
placing the muzzle of his carbine against the tiger's side, 

shot him dead, but H had been terribly mauled, his 

back and shoulder-blades being fearfully lacerated — the 
number of teeth and claw wounds amounting, I am told, 
to no less than forty-two ! 

He was carried into camp, but died the next day. 
Though suffering tortures from the pain in his wounds 
he bore up wonderfully, conversing freely with the apothe- 
cary who attended him, to whom he gave a full account of 
the incident. 

I was in camp some sixty miles distant at the time, 
and hearing of the occurrence from one of my troojxirs, 
I rode over at once, but unfortunately arrived too late to 
see him as he had already succumbed to his injuries, which, 
as I have said, were terribly severe. 

Tliis was his first tiger, and as he had been always very 
keen, and, I thought, somewhat incUned to be impetuous, 
I had only a short while before warned him to be careful. 
especially in the matter of following up wounded tigers ; 
but being young and inexperienced, he had probably failed 
to realize the danger he was incurring. He was verj^ popular 
with all who knew him, and consequently greatly missed. 

But it is not always the inexperienced who fall victims 
to a tiger's merciless attack, for under circumstances even 
more tragic, was the death of another friend of mine, poor 

B of the Police, who was killed also by a tiger. He 

was by no means a novice in sport, for many a tiger and 
panther had already fallen to his rifle. 

On the occasion under reference he had, it appears, 

ainded an enormous tiger, and taking up his tracks, 

wiis following them through high grass jungle when the 

beast suddenly charged him. Before B could put 

up his rifle the beast had seized him by the shoulder, and 
knocking him down, attacked him savagely with his 
teeth, driving his fangs deep into his body, and shaking 
him as a dog might a rat. 

The extraordinary j)art of the story is that B *8 

servant, a Goanese, who, though excellent servants, are 
not particularly courageous, seeing his master in the tiger's 

147 



TIGER SLAYER BY ORDER 

grip, promptly ran to his assistance, and though unarmed, 
a tiffin basket he was carrying being his only weapon, 
actually grappled with the tiger, trying to drag him off 
his master's prostrate body. 

The tiger, resenting his interference, instantl)'- turned 
on him, and, seizing the brave fellow by the throat, killed 
him on the spot. What happened immediately after this 
I never heard, but the beast must have made off into the 

jungle, for B was still alive when found, and carried 

to the nearest station, where his wounds were dressed, but 
he sank rapidly and died the next morning. 

I was not in Khandesh at the time but was told of the 
sad incident immediately on my retm-n. The devotion 
of the Goanese to his master was well known, but we were 
all amazed at the extraordinary courage he had shown, 
for he must have known he was throwing away his life 
when embarking on this hopeless struggle with a wounded 
and infuriated tiger. 

This tiger, I beheve, measured nine feet six inches, 
rather above the average size, for though I have often 
heard men talk of tigers twelve feet long, I have never 
come across any such monsters myself, the largest I ever 
shot being, as I have said before, only ten feet two 
inches. 

I have, however, seen tigers nine feet long, whose skins, 
when fresh, could easily have been stretched to eleven feet or 
even more, but not without unduly narrowing their breadth 
and thus impairing the beauty and value of the skin from 
the trophy point of view\ So much, in fact, depends on 
how a skin is stretched and cured, and all trophies generally 
dealt with, that, even at the risk of boring non-sporting 
readers, I venture to give a short treatise on the subject. 

To begin with, then, all hot-blooded animals, such as 
lions, tigers, and panthers, should be skinned before the 
flesh has had time to decompose, to prevent the skin 
being tainted. When the operator is a native, the process 
should be personally superintended by the sportsman. 
The skinning should be done as follows : place the beast 
on his back, and cut the skin from the lower lip in a direct 
line to the point of the tail. Then cut from inside of the 
ball of the hind feet, inside the hocks and up the middle 
148 



»-■? 






u 




en 



HOW TO CURE SKINS AND HEADS 

of the inside of the thighs, meeting the main cut first made 
about six inches from the root of the tail. The skin round 
the eyes and ears slioiild be carefully separated from the 
skull, and as close to the bone as possible, the lips being 
pared as thin as they can be done without destroying the 
roots of the moustache. Now remove every particle of 
flesh and fat from the skin, especially about the lips and 
ears. Then, a suitable spot having been selected in the 
shade, and thoroughly cleaned, cover it over with a thin 
layer of clean straw, and peg the skin down on it, fur 
downwards and as symmetrically as possible, great care 
being taken to preserve its original proportions, which 
can best be accomplished by a liberal use of pegs.* A 
good width should be obtained across the shoulders so 
that the yellow fur may be entirely surrounded by its 
margin of white, and thus add greatly to the beauty of 
the skin. The ears, lips, and feet must be well painted 
over with a strong solution of arsenical soap, the rest of 
the skin being rubbed with finely powdered burnt alum, 
or if alum is not procurable, wood ashes, which will answer 
the purpose for awhile, and till properly cured. 

The skin will take about three days to dry, and should 
I hen be sprinkled freely with turpentine on the fur side 
to keej) insects off. After this it should be rolled up, with 
sheets of paper inside to prevent the fur being rubbed off, 
and sent home in this condition to be tanned, for natives 
are not good hands at tanning, and are apt to use salt, 
which rots the skin, especially in hot damp weather, and 
many a good skin has been spoilt by being treated in this 
way. 

The skulls of tigers, panthers, etc., can be cleaned after 
tlic fleshy parts have been thoroughly removed with a knife. 
The four large canine fangs or teeth should be covered 
with a thick coating of bees' wax to exclude the air, or 
i>re liable to splinter. It is a curious fact that while many 

the fangs arc hollow, others are solid* heavy ivory. 

In preserving the masks of ileer or anteIo|)e for setting 
•, care should be taken to remove the skin of the whole 

* It i.s n gcMMi pliin i<^ i>4>g tho skin down at the noM and end of Uil. 
oi^teen iaohm longer than the animal actually uiemuiei, for noMnoani 
of tea omw e ■ tw Cehfag then can pull tbo skin out of pfopoftioii.—AiiTBOft. 

140 



■ 



TIGER SLAYER BY ORDER 

neck. Make the incision up the hack of the neck and over 
the head between the ears, till the horns are reached^ — if 
these are wide apart, cut between them — right and left, 
canying the incision right round the base of each horn. 
In separating the skin from the " bur " or base, be careful 
that the knife does not slip, especially in the region of the 
eyeUds, nostrils, and ears. After the mask has been 
removed, cleanse it thoroughly of all fat and flesh, and rub 
in alum or wood-ash, the eyes, etc., being treated with 
arsenical soap, and then leave the mask to dry in the shade. 

Bison and buffalo, as well as the larger Indian and 
African antelope, are very difficult to preserve owing to 
the remarkable thickness of their skins, but by making 
several incisions from the inside, to enable the preservative 
to penetrate the skin thoroughly, this difficulty can be 
overcome. 

Even when set up it is a great mistake to expose head 
or skins to strong sunlight as they soon fade and so lose 
their striking appearance. This particularly applies to 
lion and tiger skins, these being more susceptible than 
those of other animals. 

All trophies such as heads and skins should be carefully 
brushed at least once a week, and during the moth season, 
constantly sprinkled with turpentine; a neglect of these 
precautions may result in a valuable skin being ruined. 

As an example of what may happen if trophies are 
neglected, I may mention that being busy for some days 
I had paid no attention to my trophy-room — a photograph 
of which is given — and found that during this time, a robin, 
entering through a broken window, had built its nest in 
my lion's mane ! 



150 




Tkorav k<'<'M. 
Ixx>king East. 




Looking \Vi st 



CHAPTER XX 

An apology and explanation — Big-game shooting and the camera — Some 
advice on the subject — How a tine picture was saved — Morumgoa and 
Goa — Poisonous water snakes and jelly fish — Phenomenal rainfalls 
— Ancient rights and dignity — Convicted criminals at large — Method 
of dispensing justice — A lengthy trial — Distortion of evidence — Paid 
by the page— Judges fees — How regulated — More prisoners out of 
gaol than in it — A Gilbertian system — Result of the trial — An 
interesting but depressing relic — A city of palaces that was — The 
cathedral and shrines — Site of " Auto da fe " — St. Saviour, the Patron 
S&mt — Curious discrepancies — The convent by the sea — An old story 
retold — Abduction of a nun — A modem Paladin — An unpleasant 
surprise — The great Festival of the Church — Mummified body of the 
Saint — A sacrilegious souvenir hunter — The glass coffin — Traiisfer to 
Poonah — A bed of sedition — Absence of sport — EflFect of the war on 
India — Surat my next station — The " Cradle of India " — Battered 
forts and ruins — The Nawabs and their descendants— An ancient 
Begum — Opposing factions — Pearl trade — Origin and present position 
— German intrigues and aspirations — The pearl merchant — The sorting 
and polishing processes — A magnificent specimen. 

I MUST apologize for tlic length of my Kctiiiv on the curing 
and preservation of trophies, whioli has proved mueh 
longer than I intended, and will, I fear, make dull reading 
to the ordinary reader. Still, as tliis subject is one of such 
itnportance to sportsmen, for whom this work is primarily 
intended, I felt tliat for the instructions to be of any value, 
it was necessary- to give them in suHicient detail to be 
clearly understcMxl ; for, after all, rvci» from the sportsman's 
point of view, there would hv n<i nhit ( i m shooting big game 
if their heads ami skins could not be preserved as mementos 
of his prowess. 

While on this subject I take the opportunity also of 
advising strongly all who intend indulging iii big-gimic 
shooting to invest in a good camera, and to acquire a 
thorough knowledge of photography in all its details. 

161 



TIGER SLAYER BY ORDER 

During one furlough at home, I went through a regular 
course of developing, printing, etc., etc. 

The process, I admit, was not altogether a pleasant 
one, and many were the blunders I made and the plates 
that I destroyed, but I was amply rewarded in the end 
by the numerous good and interesting pictures I obtained, 
many of which are reproduced in this work. 

The modern method of having plates or films developed 
by professionals is no doubt convenient and saves much 
trouble, but I am convinced that many a good picture is 
lost in this way. The plates and films being developed 
wholesale, some are often rejected when a modification 
of the solution to meet the peculiar defect in the taking 
of the photo might often have redeemed them. 

I remember once nearly losing my best picture in this 
way merely through being impatient. It was on a swelter- 
ing day in Khandesh and the atmosphere in my little dark 
tent was not conducive to serenity of temper, one photo, 
appearing to be over-exposed, I threw away as useless. 
It was a half plate, and fortunately did not break. Young 

H , of the I.C.S.,* who was watching me, picked it up, 

saying he would like to try his hand on it, and he did, 
the result being the plate from which the picture opposite 
has since been reproduced. 

And now, having, I much fear, exceeded the limits of 
legitimate digression, I will go on with my story. I have 
in a previous chapter made casual mention of a place 
named Mormugoa, but have since come across some notes 
I made regarding it, and from which I find it merits more 
elaborate description. 

Mormugoa is Portuguese, and consists of a peninsula 
which terminates the W. I. P. & S. M. Railway. It has 
a wide stretch of sands, with good sea-bathing, except for 
the poisonous water snakes, peculiar to these seas, and a 
venomous kind of jelly fish, also the possibility of sharks a 
little further out. The natives are believed to possess an 
antidote for the bites of the snakes and jelly fish, but this 
is probably mere tradition. 

Except in the cold weather months the heat is intense, 
necessitating, for the European, the lightest of light 

* Afterwards killed by a tiger as described on page 147. 
152 



3\ 






i 



J 



J- 




JUDICIAL PROCEDURE IN GOA 

clothing. The monsoon is very strongly felt here, the rain- 
fall being 150 inches, while at Castle Rock, halfway between 
Dharwar and Mormugoa, it is as much as 300 inches ! 

Mormugoa, Old Goa, with Panjmi, its modern head- 
quarters, as well as the whole district under Portuguese 
jurisdiction, are all extraordinarily out of date, more 
especially in the matter of legislation, and judicial pro- 
cedure, the Goanese (pure Portuguese are very rare), 
though very courteous and pleasant people, being tenacious 
to an extreme of their ancient rights and dignities. 

The prisons are usually so full that many convicted 
criminals who should be undergoing imprisonment, are 
allowed to roam at large and live where they please, their 
only obligation being to report themselves at stated 
intervals to the officials. As an example of this quaint 
method of dispensingjustice,! quotethe following incident: — 

An employee of the S. M. Railway, who lived by the 
seashore at Mormugoa, found a heap of putrid fish being 
piled up by some natives close to his bungalow. He 
asked them to remove it, but they refused, and continued 
adding to it daily, till at length the odour became so 
intolerable that he had it removed himself and thrown 
into the sea. 

The owner resenting his action had him summoned, 
and because he did not appear at once, caused him to be 
arrested, then, instead of allowing him to settle the matter 
out of court by paying compensation, he was forced to 
undergo a lengthy, expensive, and irksome trial lasting 
many days. 

One of my friends, a railway official, who was called 
wii as witness and was also representing the Railway 
Company, was |)ut to the greatest inconvenience, being 
cooped up all the time more like a prisoner than a witness 
and obliged to take all his meals in the tiny Court-house, 
the atmosphere of which in the damp climate was perfectly 

:-'.'• '.ii)!,-. 

iii^h wlien questioned his replies were mostly 
monosyllabic, he was amused to find his answers all being 
rendered by the interpreter into long flowing sentences, 
without protest or remark from either the judge or advocate, 
but subsequently discovered that the latter, who todt 

158 



TIGER SLAYER BY ORDER 

down the evidence are paid by the page ! Also that the 
judge's fees fluctuate according to the number of persons 
he convicted ! 

This quaint method of paying judges quite explains 
the want of accommodation in the jails, and therefore 
why, as just stated, there are more prisoners out of prison 
than within it. However, be this as it may, in this par- 
ticular case, the accused got off with a fine, heavy legal 
expenses, and six months' imprisonment. He was, how- 
ever, allowed as usual, but, as the Court put it, " as a great 
act of grace," to continue in his employment as railway 
guard, merely reporting himself once a month to the prison 
authorities. The whole system in fact is quite Gilbertian 
in theory ; but to the truculent Englishman it was all 
very annoying ; in particular, the fact of being convicted 
at all, vehemently declaring " that he could not be ex- 
pected to live with evil-smelling fish outside his front door, 
and was not going to do so for all the niggers in Goa." 
However, he was eventually persuaded to submit to 
authority, in fact had no option in the matter, for his own 
people could not well support him, since the Bombay 
Government particularly emphasized the need of keeping 
on good terms with their Portuguese neighbours. 

An interesting but depressing relic of past glories is 
Old Goa, formerly the chief town of the Portuguese settle- 
ment, on the Malabar or Western Coast of India. It is 
situated some distance up the river Mundair, Panjmi or 
New Goa, at the mouth of this river, being now the capital 
and port. 

Of Old Goa it is difficult to imagine, now that so little 
trace of its former grandeur is to be seen, that about 1 600, 
when it was said to be at its zenith of its prosperity, it 
was called the City of Palaces, with the fame of its splendour, 
trade and commerce ringing throughout the world. 

That it must have been so, however, is supported by 
the fact that its wealth and magnificence proved a source 
of great temptation to the then kings of Bapur who often 
looted it. Since those days its government has changed 
more than once, and until it was finally conquered, I 
believe, by the Portuguese. 

There are no palaces now visible, except those attached 
154 



THE STORY OF AN ABDUCTION 

the cathedrals, of which there are three still standing, 
hough shorn of their former splendour, the shrines and 
estments which were once studded with exquisite gems 
f priceless value, being now decorated crudely with 
oloured glass imitation. Still, in the architecture of the 
athedral there is much to admire, and then also the sight 
f the " Auto da Fe," where heretics were burnt in the time 
f the Inquisition. 

St. Francis Zavier, as is well known, converted most 
f the inhabitants to Christianity, and has since been their 
atron Saint and is much revered by them. 

Amongst other miraculous powers attributed to him 
> the gift of tongues. This is rather curious, as from some 
;tters of his still extant it would appear that his ignorance 

1 this particular respect, and I believe, a slight defect in 
peech, were the source of great grief and disappointment 
him ! It would be interesting therefore to discover the 
rigin of the apparently erroneous belief. 

A fair number of tourists visit Old Goa and Panjmi. 
'hey come by steamer, and their time ashore being limited, 

I an necessarily see but little of the beauties of the place. 

■J, there, however, as I did with officials, we were sho^vn 
aany interesting details, as, for example, the convent near 
he seashore, whence a famous traveller <mcv attempted 

remove a discontented nun. 

It is an old story, but, like many of its kind, will possibly 
lear repeating. It appears that this modern Paladin, 
irhosc name for obvious reasons it is inadvisable to divulge, 
iras on a yachting trip, and finding Goa an interesting 
pot, had anchored in the river, where his yacht had been 
y^ing for some months. 

in addition to his fame as a great traveller, he had also 

1 world-wide reputation as a linguist, and as it happened 
' ^ in the convent library there were some ancient and 

valuable books of Arabic and Sanscrit origin, the 
luthorities gave him free access to this library. 

Hence it came about, though how nobody knew, that 

n due course of time he became acquainted with one of 

' nuns, whom he subse<]ucntly described as ** cherry- 

<!." and who apparently tired of a conventual life was 

tnxious to abandon it. 

155 



TIGER SLAYER BY ORDER 

In the course of these stolen interviews this subject 
was probably discussed, for it ended in the Englishman 
assisting her to escape. By some method of signalling 
he discovered which was the window of her particular cell, 
and on the night fixed for the venture, he climbed up and 
proceeded to carry her off. 

To save her good name, it was arranged that a cloth 
should be thrown over her, and that she was to pretend 
to resist him so as to give the appearance of being carried 
off against her will, but as he lifted her down he was dis- 
agreeably surprised to find her heavier than he had imagined 
and more bulky than he had any reason to expect, also 
that in the matter of resistance her struggle seemed to 
be somewhat unnecessarily violent. 

However, thinking she was merely over-acting her part, 
he ignored these unpleasantly realistic efforts till they 
ended in her biting him. Taken completely by surprise, 
as well he might be, he dropped her at once, when to his 
horror he discovered that it was the portly Lady Abbess 
he had been so painfully abducting instead of his sylph- 
like, cherry-lipped nun ! 

Leaving the stout dame where she had fallen, he made 
good his escape, and though the plot was eventually 
discovered, no further steps were taken by the Portuguese 
authorities, nor was it even known what became of the 
unfortunate nun, but common report had it that she had 
been walled up alive. 

To give anything like a complete description of Old 
Goa would fill too many pages of a work purporting to be 
a book on sport, and adventure only. I will, therefore, 
conclude my notes on the subject with a brief account of 
a curious and interesting ceremony performed annually 
in honour of the Patron Saint. 

This great holiday of the year and festival of the Church 
in Goa, more important even than Easter, is the feast of 
Saint Zavier, when the Saint's mummified body is exposed 
in the cathedral. Goanese from all parts of India come to 
attend this solemn ceremony and join in the subsequent 
merry-making. The body is now confined in a glass 
coffin, and the congregation, as they file past it, stop to 
bow and cross themselves. It used formerly to be exposed 
156 



SEDITION IN POONAH 

out of its coffin, but an enthusiastic souvenir-hunting white 
man having sacrilegiously purloined one of its big toes, 
the authorities no longer permit the body to be shown 
outside its case. I am writing of Goa and Mormugoa as 
I saw them some ten or more years ago, and they are 
probably unchanged to this day, though I fear my de- 
scription falls far short of what it should be. But these 
places are so quaint, and full of interest from so many 
points of view, that it would require the skill of an expert 
guide-book writer to describe them. 

After my term of service at Dharvvar, I was posted to 
the district of Poonah, one of the nicest in the Presidency, 
but from a police j)oint of view, a most troublesome and 
responsible charge, for Poonah at that time was a hot-bed 
of sedition, the result, in a great measure, of the lenient 
treatment accorded to the promoters and instigators of 
the movement, years before, in Nasik, Benares and 
Calcutta. 

But I have already referred to this subject in a previous 
chapter, and the least said now about those troublous 
days the better, for in the realization of her great oppor- 
tunity for showing her true sentiments to the Emj)ire, 
India has furnished evidence so complete and incontestable 
of her loyalty and devotion, that it is now difficult to 
realize that unrest and agitation ever had any existence in 
that country. War, as our enemies have discovered to 
their cost, so far from alienating India from the Empire, 
as they had hoped, has welded them so closely together 
that, for the first time in her history, the soldiers of the 
Empire, white and black alike, are fighting side by side 
against their common European foes. In fact, what war 
has effected in a moment, so to speak, a century of peace 
might have failed to bring about. 

As Police Officer of Poonah during a period when unrest 
and sedition were so ripe in this city and district, my time 
was so fully occupied with my duties, that I had no leisure 
for sport, not that there was much to bt- had, a few black- 
buck and small game being all that was obtainable in this 
district. 

From Poonah I was transferred to Surat, an interesting 

157 



I 



TIGER SLAYER BY ORDER 

station, which was described by Lord Curzon as " th( 
cradle of the Indian Empire." The interest of the place 
lies in the battered forts, walls and gates of the city, re 
mains of old Portuguese buildings, Dutch factories, and th< 
curious medley of tombs in the old cemetery. Surat 
originally owned and ruled by Nawabs, was finally cedec 
to the English Government in return for a heavy pecuniary 
consideration, or in other words, purchased by " Johr 
Company," probably at a bargain ! 

The family originally owning it had been for years 
divided into minor factions, each claiming seniority 
One side of the house was represented, in my time, by an 
interesting, intelligent old lady of over eighty, known as 
the Begum. 

In paying ceremonial visits to either side of the house, 
it was necessary to take great precautions in order tc 
avoid giving offence to the other, and as the palace was 
common to both families, with the court-yards only 
separate, the paying of these visits was a somewhat delicate 
operation. 

This division into two or more factions, is not at all 
unusual amongst families comprising the Indian nobility, 
Neither is it rare to find great jealousy existing between 
them. In the present instance the two families were 
extremely jealous of each other, and this feeling was nc 
doubt greatly fostered by the underlings and hangers-on 
of each, for the Nawab, the head of the other faction, 
unlike the Begum, was a sensible, broad-minded individual 
who was sending his sons to England for a 'Varsity edu- 
cation ! 

The headquarters of the pearl trade is in Surat, the 
valuable rights of the fisheries in the Persian Gulf, once 
owned by a few merchants of native descent, being now 
vested in a syndicate run with European capital. The 
fisheries commence at the Island of Babreya, which lies 
off the Arab shore near the centre of the Persian Gulf, and 
continue for a distance of nearly a hundred miles. 

The most productive shoals are between the Island of 
Atabool and the coast of Katar. Some of the pearls 
found are of great size and corresponding value. It is 
estimated that three-quarters of the world's supply of 
158 



A PEARL MERCHANT OF SURAT 

pearls come from here. Hence the rights in tliese fisheries 
are necessarily of great value. 

It is particularly interesting at the present time, to 
learn that the Germans have had their eye on these rights 
for many years. Their activities in this direction, in 
combination with their struggles for the railway facilities 
on the shores of the Persian Gulf, are graphically described 
in the " Times History of the Present War." 

We paid a visit to the great pearl merchant in Surat, 
\vho is allowed a special guard and police protection from 
the Government, and occupies a fine mansion, of a semi- 
Italian and oriental style of architecture, in the suburbs 
at some distance from the town of Surat. 

As he conducted us upstairs, we passed on the different 
landings several groups of men engaged in piercing holes 
in the pearls ; they were each squatted in front of amachine 
and it was quite interesting to watch the skill and steadi- 
ness with which they conducted their operations. 

In the first room we visited were some old men seated 
on the floor, each having what appeared to be a heap of 
sago in front of liim which he was employed in sorting. 
These proved to be pearls in the rough which were being 
sorted out according to their condition as damaged or 
inferior in quality. As they seemed to be testing their 
quality almost entirely by touch, I asked the merchant 
how they could tell a good pearl from a bad one like that. 
In the same way as the sahib finds out a thief," he 
..phed, laugliing, apparently much amused, either at my 
question or at his own conceit. 

After this we went on to the poUshing rooms, where 
again were men squatted with heaps of pearls before them, 
but this time they had on chamois leather gloves with which 
they were polishing the pearls. This process certainly 
improved their appearance, and the more they were 
rubbed the better they looked. Still, ))erhaps because 
of being in such largo quantities, tin v di.l uu\ xAvo the 
ii)ression of possessing any value 

However, when we finally came i" r, a Kind of 

strong room where the finished spcti md threaded 

r<'\ ept, we could not fail to realize the real beauty 

ot o ais. We handled one magnificent pear-shaped 

150 



TIGER SLAYER BY ORDER 

specimen valued, we were told, at £4,000. Its size, in 
comparison to its value, seemed so insignificant that, feeling 
it might so easily be lost or stolen, I was much relieved to 
see it safely locked up again, and must have shown this in 
my face, for the merchant and his employee evidently 
noticed it, and, probably accustomed to handling pearls 
of even greater value daily, were seemingly much amused 
at my solicitude. 



160 



CHAPTER XXI 

Decide on a shooting trip to Somaliland — Popular belief aboat its inixabi- 
tants — Erroneous ideas — Diminishing game — Collecting information — 
PreparationB for the Expedition — Initial difficulties finally overcome 
— Calling for volunteers — Gungdya and Sabba come forward — A 
Htudy in contrasts — Stores and equipment — My battery — Embark for 
Aden — ^The voyage — Its effect on the two Bhils — Explaining the com- 
pass — Arrive at Aden — ^Take passage to Berbera — Black beetles and 
noisy natives — OoUecting a " Kafila " — Purohase baggage camda — 
Ign gkg mg an escort — Supplies and provisitHW — A desolate land — 
Drilling the escort — Abdi, the headman — His multifarious duties — 
The construction of zarebas — A camp in Somaliland deucribed — 
Engage two shikaris — ^ELhaliffa and Nur — ProjecAa and plans — Un- 
friendly natives likely to be enooontered — Confidenee in Abdi — 
Troubles with camel men — Marching across m waterieas jimin — 
Somalifl armed to the teeth — Wild appeannoe of these men — Deoonted 
murderers — Weapon* osed in warfare — Somali women — Their dress 
and appearance — ^Not held in much account — Often abandoned on 
the march. 

the year 1898 I decided on making a private hunt ii^ 
I xpedition to Somaliland, a country which has always borne 
the reputation of being the home of a bigoted, ferocious, 
savage race whose hand is against every man. 

Somaliland was, at the time I purposed visiting it, more 

less a terra incognita to sportsmen, but it has since 

oeen opened out, with the result that the terrify i ' s 

of the dangers and diflTiculties of entering the » > f 

' »vcd to have been somewhat exaggerated. 

As with all fresh hunting grounds, the advent of the 

ortsman has had the usual effect, and the number of 

wild uniniuls formerly to be found there, has considerably 

diminished, though in the imexplorcil jwrtions of the Hand 

1(1 Ogadin game is still plentiful, es])ecially lions. 

Having collected all the information I could ol.i.uii u- 
irding the country and completed preparations for my 
\|>edition, I applied to the Bombay Government through 

M 161 



■ 



TIGER SLAYER BY ORDER 

the I.-G. Police for sanction to enter Somaliland through 
Aden, which is under the jurisdiction of the Government of 
Bombay. 

I also applied to the Inspector-General of Police for 
sanction to take forty Sniders from the Police Headquarters 
Reserve with which to arm my escort, for owing to the 
reputed lawlessness of the country I purposed visiting, an 
armed escort was essentially necessary. 

After some weeks' delay I received a curt demi-official 
reply from the I.-G. Police regretting that he was unable to 
accede to my wishes, but that he had forwarded my appli- 
cation to the Government for disposal. 

This was not encouraging — especially as I had obtained 
the requisite leave of absence and had already made all my 
preparations for the expedition, assuming that permission 
would be granted and I should be able to start at once. 

However, Lord H , the then Governor of Bombay, 

a sportsman himself, and always anxious to encourage this 
spirit among his officers, came to my rescue, and not only 
sanctioned my expedition — subject to the approval of the 
Aden authorities — but issued a special resolution giving 
me the loan of forty Sniders and ammunition from the Aden 
arsenal. 

As I was making the expedition alone — for I had no 
white companion — I was particularly anxious to take some 
of my own men with me. At the same time I felt it was 
expecting too much, and hardly reasonable to ask a Bhil 
to leave his home and family and to undertake a sea voyage 
to a country he had never seen or even heard of. 

However, on my calling for volunteers Gungdya and 
Sabha, two of my best shikaris — of whom mention has 
already been made in previous chapters — ^both came forward 
at once and expressed their willingness to accompany me. 

These men, as I have said elsewhere, were very different 
both in appearance and character, one being tall, thin, and 
dignified, and the other short, squat, and of a wild and 
reckless disposition, but a pluckier couple it would have 
been difficult to find, and though so different in character 
yet the best of friends and comrades. 

I laid in a quantity of stores — ^far too much as I dis- 
covered later — consisting of tea, coffee, tinned butter, soups, 
162 



EN ROUTE FOR SOMALILAND : BHILS AT SEA 

fish, etc., all packed in strong teak-wood boxes. Knowing 
the importance of carrying a supply of water, I had special 
water-casks constructed each to contain twelve gallons — 
two twelve-gallon casks being, as I knew, the full load of a 
camel. In the way of tents and camp equipment, I took 
a small double fly Cabul tent weighing 80 lbs,, and an iron 
folding chair ; a bed I had no need of as I usually slept on 
the ground, or on store boxes covered with camel mats, 
which also served the purpose of a table. 

My sporting battery, the most important part of the 
outfit, consisted of — 

1 Double 8-bore Paradox gun by Holland. 
1 Double 12-bore Paradox gun by Holland. 
1 Double 10-bore rifle by Dixon. 
1 Double -500 Express rifle by Rigby. 
1 Double '450 Express rifle by Cogswell and Harrison. 
1 Lee Metford -303. 

The last I found quite useless against the larger antelope 
— such as the oryx, hartcbecst, etc. — for it has little knock- 
ing down power unless the bullet happens to strike a vital 
spot. 

A brace of revolvers, a hand camera and compass com- 
pleted my outfit. 

We took our passages for Aden on 15th March in the P. 
and O. s.s. Macedonia. The two Bhils, who had never seen 
the sea before, were greatly struck with, and also much 
impressed by, some battleships which happened to be lying 
in the harbour at the time. 

We liad a rough passage — very unusual at this time of 
the year — and finally reached Aden on the fifth day of the 
voyage. I was greatly amused at the numerous questions 
my men asked me ; as to the navigation and mechanism 
of the ship — once they had recovered their equilibrium, for 
f luy had both been horribly sea-sick. 

I tried to explain to them the uses of the compass, 
Hi ' though my knowledge of such matters WES not 

mi.. ior than their own. However, they accepted all 

I said, but I fancy, from the hints they threw out, they quite 
believed tliat the wake of the steamer was the pathway to 
their destination. 

On arrival at Aden I was met by my friend P , of 

168 



■ 



TIGER SLAYER BY ORDER 

the regiment I had been attached to before joining the 
police, and who was now on the staff. I stayed with him 
three days, which I took advantage of to replenish my 
stores. 

We then took passage in a wretched little steamer to 
Berbera, which we reached on the third day, heartily glad 
to escape from that awful ship, with its vile food, black 
beetles, and noisy natives. The town of Berbera — if I may 
so term it — was composed of a few Arab rubble buildings, 
a fort and a large number of permanent Somali huts made 
of matting and poles. 

Some three-quarters of a mile to the west is the new, 
official town — originally built by the Egyptians — the 
houses being of rubble and masonry, one storied, with flat 
roofs, not unlike those found in Sind. There is a good pier 
as well as a good lighthouse, also built by the Egyptians 
before we took over the north Somali coast from them, and 
an excellent harbour, affording adequate protection for 
large steamers. At a distance of about twenty-four miles 
east and west of Berbera the Maritime Range comes down 
to within a mile or two of the sea. 

I remained in Berbera a week, getting together a 
caravan or " Kafila," with the assistance of the Political 
Agent, a very kind individual, whose temper I fear I much 
tried, but who very kindly put me up. I was also much 
assisted by an Arab merchant of the place by name 
Mahomed Hindi, a very decent fellow. 

I purchased thirty baggage camels and engaged the 
same number of natives — drawn from the different tribes — 
as an escort, whom I armed with the Snider rifles so gener- 
ously lent me by the Bombay Government. 

I also purchased supplies of provisions — such as rice, 
dates, Ghee,* also cooking utensils, saddle equipment for 
the camels, cloth and beads as presents to the chiefs of the 
countries we were to pass through, axes for making zarebas, 
rope, etc., etc. 

Besides these essentials, there were a number of other 
things to be thought of, for in the interior of Somaliland 
there were no permanent villages, the Karias being usually 

* Clarified butter. 
164 



"A HEADMAN"— AND fflS DUTIES 

small, temporary kraals, and nothing is obtainable in the 
way of food excepting exceptionally rancid milk. Hence, 
rations for the men, personal luggage and stores, must all be 
carried on camels, and this constitutes a large caravan. 

The newly-recruited escort, too, had to be put through 
a course of musketry and rough drill, such as advancing and 
retiring in skirmishing order, etc., etc. However, the 
Somali are brought up from childhood midst an atmosphere 
of raids and skirmishes. They soon grasped some idea of 
military movements. 

Finally, the purchase of two horses for elephant and lion 
hunting completed my preparations. I was very fortunate 
in obtaining the services of one — Abdi — as headman or 
leader of the caravan, a most important and responsible 

ition, for on his efficiency, or otherwise, depended in a 

it measure the success or failure of the expedition. 

He must know Arabic or Hindustani, and his business 
IS to superintend the loading of the camels, giving out the 
daily rations, interviewing chiefs and natives, who visit the 

ip, acting interpreter, etc., etc. He is also required to 
4....C military command of the caravan on the absence of 
his master, and in this capacity must arrange for the relief 

ihe sentries at night and select the places where the 

l)as are to be put up, etc. 

i'he construction of zarebas, by the way, is by no means 
U.H easy matter, especially after a long march, for trees have 
to be felled and brushwood collected and placed round the 

ip in a circular formation, low enough to fire over, yet 

uciently deep to y)rf'V(i>t a sudden rush being made on the 
encampment. 

Towards evening tiie camels and horses are all collected 
and driven into this enclosure, the hunter's tent being 

ted in the centre, midst a seeming chaos of multi- 

-ious packages — bubbling of camels, neighing of horses, 

and the cheery groups of Somalis enjoying their frugal 

tiing meal of rice and dates. Add to this the whitc-elad 

ae of the sentry, as he stands, rifle in hand, crooning 
to himself some wild and invariably mournful song ; and 
wc have as animated and picturesque a scene as it would 
be possible to imagine. 

Then, as daylight wanes, comes the stillness of the 

165 



TIGER SLAYER BY ORDER 

jungle, to be broken only by the melancholy cry of the 
jackal, the weird howl of the hyena, or, maybe, the grand 
roar of a lion on the prowl, borne along the still night air — 
a situation like this is difficult to describe, but to the true 
sportsman the fascination of it will doubtless be apparent. 

In addition to my camel men, amongst whom were some 
good shikaris, I engaged two elephant hunters — Khaliffa 
and Nur — the former of whom was destined to give con- 
siderable trouble later on. These, together with a cook 
and butler, completed my staff. 

As I was anxious to penetrate as far as possible into the 
interior in search of elephants, I decided, in consultation 
with my headman, to visit the Gadabursi and Esai country, 
where elephants were reported to be very numerous. I also 
intended, if time permitted, to make a trip to Abyssinia 
whence reports of the abundance and variety of game had 
excited my imagination. 

On mentioning my project to Captain A , he did 

his best to dissuade me from entering that part of the 
country as the unfriendliness of the natives was causing 
much anxiety at the time, and suggested instead a mild 
little tour round Berbera. 

But as my outlay on the expedition was already con- 
siderable, I determined, notwithstanding A 's friendly 

advice, to stick to my original plan, explaining to that 
exasperated official that if I should happen to be attacked 
by the natives I could but run away. 

Nevertheless, I quite realized that a certain amount of 
risk must be incurred from the possible hostility of the Esa 
and other savage tribes, but hoped that a long experience 
of natives, the strong and reliable following under Abdi, 
who had proved his eminent fitness as a caravan leader 
in similar expeditions, would reduce the dangers to a 
minimum. 

The last few hours at Berbera were, I remember, spent 
in losing and finding my camel men, and I am afraid we 

gave Captain A a very worrying time. However, 

everything being fixed up at last, we started off one morning 
at daybreak, for the first long march of sixteen miles across 
the waterless Maritime plain. 

On our way we occasionally met with small parties of 
166 



'-> >^ 




THE SOMALI OF THE INTERIOR 

)malis, armed to the teeth with spear and shield, etc., 
making their way to the coast, their strings of camels laden 
with skins of camels, goats, etc., for which they find a ready 
market in Berbera. 

The Somali of the interior is a wild enough looking 
creature, with a piece of cotton sheeting wrapped about 
the body, his hair — short and curly — bleached a light 
red, or plastered with white clay. Many of the men wear 
a leather charm containing a verse from the Koran round 
their necks — for the Somalis are all Mussulmans and of the 
Shafai sect. 

Among certain tribes, any man who has killed another 
— presumably in battle ? — wears an ostrich feather in liis 
liair. The spears they use are most deadly -looking weapons, 
horribly barbed. A heavy spear with laurel-leaf shaped 
blade is used for close quarters, for the Somalis usually 
fight on foot, and when charging their foe, use this spear 
to stab with as they close. The women wear a dark blue, 
nondescript sort of garment, displaying a good deal of 
the bosom. The married woman ties up her hair in a piece 
of blue cloth, while the young girls, " Gubats " or maidens, 
wear theirs in oily looking plaits. 

Women generally, and more especially when old and 
decrepit, are of very little account among the Somali. If 
unable to keep up with the Kafila on the march, they are 
often abandoned and left lying exhausted on the side of the 
)ad, either to follow as best they can or to be devoured by 
u imngry lion, should one happen to pass that way. 



le? 



CHAPTER XXII 

An uninviting country — Gazelles occasionally met with — Early morning 
marches — The dik-dik antelope — Large herds seen — The klipspringer 
— Terrific heat— The Nasiya or Shelter tree— Reach the first water — 
Lion-hand mountain — The lesser koodoo^ — Their appearance and habits 
— Extraordinary leaping powers — Shoot a fine buck — Ascending the 
Golis Range— Haunt of the greater koodoo — News of an old bull — A 
fruitless search — Returning to camp — A pleasant surprise — Sudden 
appearance of the bull — A long shot — Bagged — A splendid trophy — 
The greater koodoo described — We march en route to Hargesa — Wild 
wooded country — Oryx and hartebeest encountered — Shooting for the 
pot — Many mouths to feed — The oryx, appearance and habits — A 
herd of four hundred seen — Wounded oryx dangerous — Bushmen's 
method of killing these animals — Poisoned arrows and dogs — Uses 
made of the skins — The hartebeest — Several species — Fine texture of 
coats — Peculiarity of the skull — Vast herds often met with — The 
inquisitiveness of these animals — Indifference to thirst — The som- 
mering gazelle — ^Very common in Somahland — A herd of one thousand 
— Peculiar characteristic — ^Variety in shape of horns — Subject to 
parasitical maggots — Flesh uneatable. 

The country over which we travelled was not inviting, 
consisting as it did of bare hills and sandy plains covered 
with stunted mimosa bushes, affording shelter to an 
occasional gazelle, a number of which I shot on the way. 

This peculiar gazelle is readily distinguished by the 
well-developed ridge of loose skin over the nose. The 
general colour is a brownish fawn, with a dark lateral band. 
The coat is also longer and the horns thicker and more 
curved than those of the lowland gazelle. The height at 
the shoulder is twenty-four inches. The females have no 
horns. 

They go about in small herds of three to five, and are 
found in scrub, jungle and rocky ground. In their habits 
they are very much like the Indian gazelle or chinkara, and 
offer excellent practice for the rifle. 
168 



AFRICAN ANTELOPE 

In the cool of the early mornings, when on the march, 
I usually walked through the jungle — ^ahead of the string 
of camels, with my gun — often disturbing the little sand 
antelope, which would spring away through the bushes at 
my approach. 

The sakaro, or dik-dik, as they are called by the 
Somalis, is, I believe, the smallest of the African antelope 
tribes, and stands about the size of a hare. The general 
colour is a rufus-fawn with a tuft of hair on the crown of 
the head. The eyes are large and the horns corrugated at 
the base, strongly pointed and from one to three inches in 
length. The females are even smaller and carry no horns. 

These pretty little antelopes are very common in 
Somaliland, and I have seen as many as a hundred in the 
course of a long march. They frequent scrub and aloe 
jungle, and when disturbed give a shrill whistle of alarm. 
Sakaro antelopes can be easily knocked over with No. 5 
^hot, and make pretty shooting with a rook rifle. 

The klipspringer would also be seen along the rocky 

paths and are very common in the Golis Range. Its height 

at the shoulder is about twenty inches, and it is in colour 

II olive-grey. The hair on coat is long and brittle, not 

uiilike that of the musk deer. The hoofs are cylindrical 

and cup-shaped underneath ; the horns rise vertically 

from the head, with a slightly forward curvature and are 

ringed from the basal thud ; average length being about 

t wo and a half inches. The females have no horns. These 

Titelope go about in twos and threes. They are excellent 

I ting. As we marched on the heat became terrific, and 

we were glad when, at last, we reached a small tree called 

Nasiya," the word meaning "resting-place," whence, 

after taking a short rest we pushed on again reaching the 

next water, Deregodab, twenty-three miles from Bcrbcra ; 

and continuing our journey went on to Mandcra, a valley 

three miles wide under the Gadabarsi * mountain, a bluff 

"f the great Golis Range. 

At Mandcra, and all along the foot of the Golis Range, 
dense forest of the large Guda thorn tree, with thick 
iidergrowth of aloes and thorn\' hushes, a favourite resort 
"f the lesser koodoo. 

* literally, " Lkm^luad mouaUau." 

160 



TIGER SLAYER BY ORDER 

This animal is, to my mind, the most beautiful in 
Somaliland. It stands about three feet five inches at the 
shoulder, and is of a slate-blue colour, turning to almost 
black in the older animals. From the back descend snow- 
white stripes upon either flank and hindquarters. Inside 
the thighs and arms the hair is of a reddish tinge. The 
legs are slender and beautifully shaped, hoofs long, narrow 
and pointed. The tail is broad, white and bushy. The head 
is small with a bar of white below each of the eyes, which 
are large and beautiful, and a few white spots on either 
cheek. The ears are large, round and wonderfully sensitive. 
The neck is slightly maned and well-developed, with a 
splash of white on the throat ; in fact, taken altogether, 
the colouring of this antelope is remarkably effective. The 
horns are like those of the greater koodoo — spiral, but do 
not attain the enormous length of the latter, the average 
measurement of a lesser koodoo horn being about twenty- 
eight inches round the curve, though I have shot one with 
twenty-nine and a half round the curve, but this was the 
longest I obtained. The does are of a lighter colour and 
devoid of horns. 

The lesser koodoo are found in dense bush and aloe 
clumps. They go about in herds of about five and six. 
Their power of leaping is extraordinary, and it is a very 
pretty sight to see them take the bushes at great bounds. 
I had great luck with these antelope at Mandera, where I 
shot some very fine buck. 

But to resume. We now ascended the Golis Range, 
walking half-way up the mountain, where there was a 
spring of clear water, to hunt for greater koodoo. Hearing 
there was a very old koodoo bull on this hill, I determined 
to devote the whole day in search of him. I had, on the 
previous day, shot a couple of good buck out of a herd ; 
but as this particular animal was reported to carry an 
exceptionally fine head, I was very keen on getting him. 

Accompanied by two of my trackers — Nur and Khaliffa, 
with one Easa Musa as guide — we searched along the 
lower slopes and higher ridges of the mountain, from early 
morning until late in the afternoon, but saw no sign of him. 

I had numerous opportunities during the day of shooting 
other animals — one fine old wart-hog in particular — but 
170 




LCSSEK KOODOO BUIJ.. 

(Africa.) 




U A 1.1,1 .U i u 

(.\frica.) 



[1 ' jdu f- »;u- 



^^^"VJ^; 




1 



^^; 



THE GREATER KOODOO 

would not fire for fear of disturbing the beast we were 
after. Luck, however, was against me, I was tired and 
disappointed. Early in the day I had run an aloe spike 
into my leg — I always shoot with legs and arms bare — 
and was suffering much pain. 

Finally, it became time to turn homewards, when, as 
we were walking along a ridge of the hill overlooking our 
camp, on mounting a spur we suddenly saw the beast 
below us, feeding on some mimosa bushes, hardly two 
yards off ! He saw us too, for he raised his splendid head, 
crowned with a magnificent set of horns, the wide spirals 
showing to advantage by the light of the evening sun. 

Before I could raise my rifle, however, the koodoo 
swung round and, giving a great bound forward, dashed 
down the slope of the ravine. He paused, however, half- 
way down, and suddenly turning to the left, galloped at 
full speed past, and parallel to, the ridge on which we 
stood. 

The distance was about one hundred and fifty yards — 
so, taking a full sight and aiming well in front, I pressed 
the trigger. The mighty beast ran on some twenty yards, 
then stood under a small tree, swaying from side to side, 
and I knew now that my bullet had found a vital spot. 

He was still breathing when we went up to him, poor 
beast, so to end his sufferings I put another bullet into him. 
He was a splendid old bull, scarred all over with many a 
scar received in fights with his own species. 

The head of this animal carefully prepared by Rowland 
Ward, the well-known Piccadilly mituralist, is a gem 
amongst my large collection of Indian and African trophies. 
Excepting the eland, the greater koodoo is the largest of 
African antelopes. The average height of a full-grown 
bull is about thirteen and a half hands at the shoulders. 

The colouring is mouse-grey, darkening to slate-blue 
in older animals. Along the spine runs a white list, and 
from this thin white stripes — seven or ten in number — 
I'xt ending transversely across the body. Under each eye 
is a white band, meeting in front of the jaw, and on the 
cheeks two or three irregular white spots. 

The head is small and game^like, eyes large and brilliant, 
and the ears full, round and very lensttive. From the 

171 



TIGER SLAYER BY ORDER 

throat extends a long beard, or fringe, of silvery grey hair, 
giving the animal a most imposing appearance. The neck 
is also slightly maned. The legs are slender, but strong and 
well-shaped. 

The horns are massive and spiral, and of a corkscrew-like 
formation, terminating in sharp points. They have been 
known to exceed sixty inches round the curve. The 
largest pair secured by me measured fifty inches outside 
the curve — ^thirty-eight and a half in a straight line — ^ten 
inches circumference, and thirty-six and a half inches 
between the tips. The females have no horns. 

Koodoos frequent the mountains and rocky, bush- 
covered hills. They keep together in small herds of six 
to eight. Solitary old bulls may occasionally be met, as 
was the case in the instance just quoted. 

Although a heavy animal, the koodoo is a good climber, 
and his sense of hearing being, as I have said, so acute 
he is very difficult to approach. As far as I am aware no 
live specimen of this animal has yet reached the Zoological 
Gardens. 

After a few days' rest we marched to Hargesa, my 
intention being to push on as fast as possible to the Harawa 
Valley, some two hundred miles distant, where I intended 
to form a permanent camp for the purpose of hunting 
elephants. Hargesa is situated on two important caravan 
routes, one from Ogadin and the other from Berbera. It 
is full of blind and lame people under the protection of one 
Sheik Muttar and his Mullahs. 

We now found ourselves in a well-wooded country 
amongst rocky hills and mimosa bush, interposed with 
extensive grassy plains where large herds of oryx, harte- 
beest and sommering gazelles were constantly to be seen, 
and would often stand gazing with extraordinary inquisi- 
tiveness at our long string of camels. 

I shot a large number of these animals as, my caravan 
being a large one, I had many mouths to feed. As a 
description of these antelopes may be of interest to the 
reader, I will describe them briefly in the order named. 

The oryx, to take the first, is widely distributed over 
Somaliland. The clown-like markings of this animal are 
too well known to need description. The height of the 
172 



ORYX— A HERD OF 400 SEEN 

bull at the shoulder is about four feet, and its weight about 
500 lbs. 

The average length of the horns, which are straight, 
tapering and well-annulated, is about thirty-two inches in 
a bull, and thirty-four in a cow, the horns of the bull being 
shorter but more massive, especially close to the base. 

Bulls and cows are so very aUke in appearance that it 
is very difficult to distinguish one from the other in a herd — 
the bull is, perhaps, a little stouter and heavier about the 
neck and withers. The oryx inhabits stony ground and 
crrass plains, and is often found far from water. They go 
tbout in herds of from five to fifty, but single bulls are 
occasionally met with. 

On one occasion whilst crossing an open base, or prairie, 
my caravan started a herd of some four hundred oryx, 
which galloped past us, having all the appearance of a 
squadron of cavalry. Firing at the galloping line, I 
rolled over a fine buck. Being very keen of sight, and 
living mostly in the open, oryx are difficult to stalk. When 
wounded and brought to bay they not infrequently charge. 

I once saw a wounded oryx make a most determined 
harge at one of my men who was trying to spear him as he 
stood at bay in some thick bushes. 

On another occasion I was galloping after an oryx cow, 
which I had slightly wounded, when she turned suddenly 
and charged with her head down, upsetting my horse and 
<;iving me a nasty fall. The Bushmen, or Midgaons, who 
.ire armed with bows and poisoned arrows, hunt the oryx 
with dogs. The skin of these animals is very thick, 
(■specially about the neck and withers, and is much sought 
after by the Somalis for making shields, etc. 

The hartebeest. There are several species of this 
animal, chiefly distinguishable from each other by their 
horns, which vary greatly in shape and size. The horns of 
the Abyssinian and Somali Imrtebeest have a wider spread 
tlum those of the South African varieties, which are closer 
together and more upright and massive at the base. 

The height of the Somali beast is about forty-seven 
iiurhes at the shoulder, and weight about 400 lbs. 
In colour it is chestnut, deepening to black about the 
shoulders and upper part of the forel^^ ; also the face, 

178 



TIGER SLAYER BY ORDER 

which is long and narrow. The nostrils are large and 
valvular, eyes large, ears narrow with their inner surface 
white. The shoulder is heavy and powerful, but the 
forequarters are poor and droop away. The tail is long and 
tufted black. The texture of the coat is exceedingly fine, 
and in the sunlight glistens like that of a well-groomed 
horse. 

The chief peculiarity of this animal is in its skull, which 
rises about four inches above the brain cavity, and is quite 
separate from the cranium. 

Hartebeest are found on open grass plains and thorn 
jungles. They feed principally on grass. I have met vast 
herds of these animals south of the Golis Range. They 
are extremely inquisitive beasts and have frequently 
followed my caravan, halting occasionally within two 
hundred yards to gaze at it. Like the majority of African 
antelopes, they can exist for several days without water. 

The sommering gazelle is very common in Somaliland, 
and I have seen vast herds of over one thousand on the 
plains of the Haud. He stands about thirty to thirty-six 
inches. The general colour is fawn, the face markings 
being well-defined and nearly black. The peculiar cha- 
racteristic of this animal is the white rump, which can be 
seen at a long distance. The horns vary in shape, and are 
often wanting in symmetry, being generally lyrate, the 
point turning inwards and forwards. The average length 
is about fourteen inches ; the largest pair I secured was 
fourteen and a half. 

Like most of the African antelopes, they are subject to a 
peculiar parasitical worm or maggot, which bores through 
the flesh and is found below the skin, setting up a local 
inflammation and making the meat uneatable. This 
gazelle is quite as inquisitive as the hartebeest. 



174 




UkVX BLXL. 

(Airica.) 




BARTBBSB8T. 

(Africa.) 



«74. 



CHAPTER XXIII 

The Gimook or Waller gazelle — Where found — A giraffe-like antelope — 
Extraordinary loigth of neck — Small herds — Difficult to approach — 
Advantages of a long neck — Halt at Hai^es^a — March continued — 
ArriTB at Arabsea — Our zareba at night — A lion prowling around — 
We hear but cannot see him — The lion's call — Next morning search — 
Marked down — Beating through the grace — ^My first lion — A splendid 
specimen — Lions and tigers compared — Difference in skulk—Game 
plentiful — ^Two more hoas sighted — Gallop in pursuit — A savage 
charge — Chased for one hundred yaids — I shoot the lion — In ponait 
of the other — Crouched in a patch of grass — A snap-shot — My third 
lion ! — ^Raiding Somalis met with — A Uoneas and cube — I shoot the 
mother — Escape of the cube — Man-eating lions common — A woman 
carried off — ^Tracking up the man-eater — I fail to locate liim — Shoot 
a cock ostrich — Bushmen wonderful trackers — A hunter killed by a 
wild elephant — Tom limb from limb — Too light a rifle — Difference 
between A'^iatic and African elephants — ^Latter snperior in size — A 
heni of a hundred — Most dangerous of African game— Tenacity of life 
extraordinary — Skull oorioosly ptoteoted — ^The temple shot preferable 
— Not always socoes sfu l — A male and femide wounded — Cozioas 
results of shots from 8-bore Paradox. 

I WAS also lucky enough, on this march, to secure some good 
spn of the Gimook or Waller gazelle. This curious, 

gir;; antelope is found throughout East Africa. 

The colour is a rufus-fawn, with a broad dark band running 
down the middle of the back. Height at the shoulder 
about forty-two inches, and weight 116 lbs. 

Horns are ridged and curved forward at the tips, where 
the ridges end. The females have no horns. The skvdl 
is massive and extends far back behind the ears. The neck, 
the distinguishing feature of this animal, is long, and eyes 
Inrge like those of the giraffe. 

The Gimook feeds on bushes, and, Uke the Indian goat, 

:iy be seen browsing, standing on its hind legs to reach 

the more tender shoots. They are found in small herds 

in scattered bush and ravines. The average length of their 

175 



TIGER SLAYER BY ORDER 

horns is thirteen inches, and the largest I obtained was 
fourteen and a half round the curve. 

Girnook are the most difficult antelopes to approach 
that I know of, their enormously long neck enabling them 
to see over bushes to a considerable distance. When 
disturbed they run through the bush with head down and 
long neck stretched straight out. 

This completes the list of the three varieties of antelope 
which I shot on our march to Hargesa, where we halted 
for the night. The next morning, after much hand-shaking 
with, and presents of cloth, etc., to the Sheik Muttar and 
his Mullahs, we continued our journey, halting at Arabsea, 
which we reached without meeting with many adventures 
worth recording. 

Our stay here, however, was marked by an event of some 
importance, for it was while encamped at this place that I 
had the good luck to bag my first lion which, as in the case 
of my first tiger, recorded in Chapter III., I was fortunate 
enough to secure with one shot. 

Our zareba at this camp had been very carefully con- 
structed of felled trees and thorny bushes, both as a pro- 
tection against wild beasts and possible raid from hostile 
tribes. It was at night — which I remember was a very 
dark and stormy one — ^that the lion came prowling round 
the zareba, and continued for some time to patrol the 
circuit of the camp, occasionally betraying his presence by 
low, rumbling growls or deep, guttural sighs. It is difficult 
to define, accurately, the noise a lion makes on such 
occasions. 

We could not see to shoot owing to the intense darkness 
outside the fence, and the bright light of our fires within the 
camp. Whether the lion had meditated attacking the 
zareba and was put off by the brightness of our fires, I 
cannot say. At any rate, after a time he took himself off. 

The next morning early we took up his tracks — which 
were plainly visible in the soft sand all round us — and 
following through dense bushes, interspersed with sandy 
glades, finally marked the beast down in a patch of long 
grass. 

Telling the men to form line and walk through this 
grass, I took up my position by the side of an ant-hill, which, 
176 




A SOMMhkiNG GAZKl<i,ii. 

(Africa.) 




GAZmXiK NASO. 
(Africa.) 



[Tcfaup. 176. 



A FINE LION BAGGED 

in Africa, are often of great height. The men could not 
have advanced very far through the grass when out walked 
the lion, at about twelve paces to my right. I fired at 
once, rolling him over with a bullet through the shoulder. 

He was a very large beast with a remarkably fine mane, 
a rich black on the shoulder, and deep yellow on the breast 
and head, giving to the animal a truly noble appearance. 
When emerging from the cover he had stood for a moment, 
with his massive, mane-encircled head well raised. I thought, 
as I caught sight of him, how majestic and dignified he 
looked. There was an absence of that peculiar feline 
ferocity which, though it adds to the formidable appearance 
of the tiger, detracts so much from its nobility. Neverthe- 
less, the lion, if followed up when wounded, is a formidable 
enough antagonist, though not, in my opinion, so cunning, 
ferocious, or dangerous as a tiger. Although as fond of 
dense retreats as the latter, he exposes himself more care- 
lessly, thus rendering his destruction comparatively more 
easy. 

But the habits and peculiarities of the lion have all 
been so well-described by Mr. Selous in his most interesting 
book, " African Nature Notes and Reminiscences," that 
I will not attempt to enlarge on them. One point I may 
mention, however, for it may not perhaps be generally 
known, viz., that the skull of the lion, though quite equal 
in size, is considerably flatter at the base than that of the 
tiger. 

To give a detailed account of each ol the eight lions 
and thirty odd elephants I shot during my trip to Somaliland, 
would not only fill more space than I can spare, but might 
also prove tedious to the ordinary reader. I propose, 
rfore, to relate only the most interesting and exciting 
Ol my adventures with these animals. 

(lame was very plentiful at Arabsea, the whole country 
If covered with green grass a foot or more in height. 
I here — as elsewhere in Somaliland — I have come across 
> in the open when out looking for other game. Indeed, 
I boldness in this respect is quite remarkable when 
pared with the stealthy, skulking methods adopted by 
rs, as the following incident — only one of many I could 
te — will show. 

W 177 



TIGER SLAYER BY ORDER 

Some days after bagging my first lion, I was riding 
about the country accompanied by Nur, looking for game, 
when I saw in the distance two animals which, at first 
sight, I took to be hartebeest, but soon discovered they 
were lions. They were walking slowly, one behind the 
other, over an open grassy plain. 

As we galloped towards the pair, one of them, a dark- 
skinned beast, suddenly whipped round and, with an 
angry roar, charged most savagely, chasing me for about a 
hundred yards, when he pulled up. Wheeling round 
quickly, I jumped off and fired into his chest, rolling him 
over growling. 

The next instant I was in the saddle again, going hard 
in the direction the other lion had taken when, suddenly, 
Nur, who had been following me closely, drew my attention 
to the beast crouching in a patch of high grass some five 
yards to my left. 

I had almost ridden past him. Pulling up with a jerk, 
I took a snap-shot at his great shock head, for he was 
flicking his tail, from which I knew he was on the point of 
charging. Luckily my bullet, striking fairly between his 
eyes, killed him on the spot. Yet, so life-like did he appear 
— for he still lay crouching as he had been, with his head 
between his paws — that I fired again. But he had been 
killed with the first shot, the bullet of pure lead from my 
Rigby having crashed through his brain and penetrated the 
chest, raking him along the flank. 

On going back to the first lion, we found him still alive. 
He had dragged himself into a small bush, and on our 
approaching him, greeted us with a savage roar. However, 
a bullet in the neck soon put an end to him. Both the 
lions were fine, handsome animals, with very fair manes. 

On returning to camp that evening through a wild 
piece of country, we fell in with a party of raiders who, 
with loud shouts and a great flourish of spears, came 
galloping up to us, but seeing we w^re armed, quickly 
made off again. They were all well mounted and fairly 
bristling with spears. 

One afternoon while stalking oryx in some bushes, we 
suddenly came on a lioness and her three-quarter grown 
cubs. Unfortunately we had left our horses in camp that 
178 




bi,ack-maxi:d rjox. 
(Africa.) 




(Africa.) 



i - ,-.* p. I7«. 



MAN-EATING LIONS— A WOMAN CARRIED OFF 

day, or might have scored a big success. As soon as the 
lions saw us they trotted on a few yards ahead and lay 
down in a patch of high grass. 

Accompanied by my two men, Nur and Sabha, I 
walked up to them, and when within a dozen paces or so. the 
lioness put up her head with a growl. I fired immediately, 
knocking her over dead, with a bullet through the neck. 

At this shot the cubs bounded away, and though I ran 
my best after them they managed to reach a strip of thorny 
jungle and we never saw them again. Had we been 
mounted we should probably have bagged the whole 
family. 

Man-eating lions are common in parts of Somaiiland. 
Like the tiger, he is extremely cunning and rapid in his 
movements, consequently quite as difficult to locate and 
destroy as the man-eating monster foimd in the jungles of 
India. In this connection it is interesting to note that 
lions generally, when attacking their prey, seize their 
victim in much the same manner as a tiger, but instead of 
taking the first mouthful from the buttock like the tiger, 
he invariably tears the belly open, commencing his meal 
on the liver, kidneys and other choice parts. 

While I was journeying through the Gadabarsi country, 
a lioness carried off a woman from a Karia * close to my 
encampment. The body of the woman was discovered 
next morning about a hundred yards from the scene of the 
tragedy. 

The attack had been a very bold one, the brute having 
deliberately forced his way into the zareba and dragged the 
woman out, in spite of a shower of spears, hurled at him by 
the would-be rescuers of his victim. The body, wheo 
found, exhibited amongst other injuries, several deep fang- 
wounds in the throat, and the right leg had been bitten off 
at the hip. 

Taking two of my best trackers with me, we followed 
up the tracks of the lioness for several miles over most 
difficult ground covered with dense bush and grass, but 
were finally obliged to abandon the pursuit, returning to 
camp, which we reached some hours after darkness had 
•et in. 



* Small tempocuy kraal. 

17t 



■ 



TIGER SLAYER BY ORDER 

The next morning, being Joined by some of the Gada- 
barsi elephant hunters, well mounted on excellent ponies, 
we scoured the country for miles in search of the man-eater, 
but failed to locate her. From her footprints, which at 
first I mistook for a leopard's, she must have been quite a 
small beast. 

I spent several days in these pleasant wilds, during 
which time I bagged many oryx and hartebeest, also a 
very fine cock ostrich. It was here, too, that I first met 
with the Midgaons, or Bushmen, two of whom joined my 
camp. They are an extremely hardy and primitive race 
still using bows and poisoned arrows, and are wonderful 
trackers. 

When hunting all day over extensive bushy plains, it 
was extraordinary how these men, who acted as my guides, 
would find their way through the labyrinth when there 
was neither path, track nor landmark of any kind 
apparent. 

One of the men I had engaged was with the late Mr. 
Ingram, when the latter met his death from an elephant. 
It appears that he was encamped at a spot not far from my 
camp, and being at the time laid up with a sore heel, was 
confined to his tent. 

The rest of the party had gone out, when some Somalis, 
who had been grazing the baggage camels, came running 
up to tell him that there was an elephant close to the camp. 
To a true sportsman like Ingram this was an opportunity 
not to be neglected. 

Quickly saddling his horse he rode off, armed with a 
•450 Express — the only weapon left in camp. He j&red at 
the elephant, whereupon the beast immediately charged. 
Ingram wheeled his horse round and would no doubt have 
got away, but the animal refused to face the spiky line 
of aloes in front of him. The next instant the enraged 
brute was upon Ingram, and sweeping him off the saddle 
with his trunk tore him limb from limb. 

The rifle he had used was, as I have said, a -450 Express 
which, with its light hollow bullet, is obviously unsuited for 
such a thick-skinned animal as an elephant. In fact, 
accidents of this kind which, unfortunately, so often happen 
even to experienced hunters of dangerous game, may 
180 



ELEPHANTS-AFRICAN AND ASIATIC COMPARED 

generally be traced to the sportsman having used a light 
rifle when a heavier weapon should have been employed. 

And now to relate some of my own experiences with 
elephants in Somaliland. Before doing so, however, it is 
necessary to give a description of this animal, since he 
differs so materially from what may be called the ordinary 
type of elephant, viz., those that inhabit India or 
Ceylon. 

The African elephant is distinguishable from the Asiatic 
species, firstly, by the remarkable size and expanse of the 
ears which, when thrown back, completely cover the 
shoulders ; secondly, the presence of well-developed tusks 
in both male and female alike ; thirdly, the formation of 
the head — the forehead being convex uistead of concave ; 
fourthly, the hollow back — the back of the Indian elephant 
being convex and the shoulder considerably lower. 

The African elephant is also vastly superior in size and 
possesses greater speed than the Asiatic variety, the tusks 
vary in size and weight according to the locality in which 
the animal is found. 

In Abyssinia and Somaliland, for example, the tusks 
are much smaller than those found in the centre of the 
continent. It is seldom that a pair of tusks are alike, for 
as a man uses the right hand in preference to the left, so 
the elephant, by using one tusk more than the other, it 
becomes naturally more worn. The tusks arc solid only 
for a portion of their length — being hollow throughout 
the imbedded portion. 

The elephant feeds on creepers, aloes, and the succulent 
roots of the mimosa and other trees. He is a wasteful 
feeder, tearing down branches, hnlf of which ho leaves 
untouched. 

A herd usually consists of from thirty to lilty intliviiluaK. 
though once, in the Haruwu Valley, I saw one of omt 
one hundred. 

Although possessing very bad sight, the elephant has an 
exquisite sense of smell. He can wind an enemy at a 
considerable distance, provided the breeze is favourable. 

I have encountered elephants, both from horseback an<i 
on foot, and consider them the most dangerous of all 
A frifaii game. They are exceedingly savage when wounded 

181 



TIGER SLAYER BY ORDER 

and possess an extraordinary tenacity of life. The peculiar 
formation of the skull protects the brain, thus rendering 
the forehead shot very uncertain ; whereas in the Asiatic 
variety such a shot is instantly fatal. 

On the other hand, if a side or temple shot is offered by 
an elephant standing quite still, the brain may be easily 
reached if the bullet is well placed — i.e., on the outer edge 
of the central portion of the ear. The shoulder shot is 
also very effective, provided a heavy rifle is used, for 
should the heart be missed the lungs would be pierced, and 
the animal rendered helpless at once. 

I remember on one occasion I had severely wounded a 
bull elephant ; the ball catching him high up on the shoulder- 
blade had rendered him instantly dead lame. Anxious to 
try the effect of a forehead shot, I ran up to within ten 
yards of him, and aiming for the forehead, fired a right 
and left, both bullets striking him within an inch of each 
other directly below the eyes. 

However, beyond recoiling at the shots, he did not 
appear much the worse for the stunning effects of the metal. 
I was using an 8-bore Paradox, and I had eventually to 
kill him with the temple shot ! 

On another occasion, a female elephant I had wounded 
suddenly wheeled round and charged. I fired when she 
was about nine paces distant, aiming below the boss or 
projection above the trunk, killing her instantly ; and this 
with the same gun, 8-bore Paradox, which had failed to 
floor the bull elephant ! 

It would have been interesting had I preserved them to 
have examined the skulls of the two animals, which I regret 
I did not think of doing. Possibly, in the case of the bull 
elephant, I may not have made sufficient allowance for 
the position of the brain and have gone a trifle high. 

The brain of an African elephant rests upon a plate of 
bone exactly above the roots of the upper grinders. It 
is thus wonderfully protected from the front shot as it is so 
low that the ball invariably passes over it. 



182 




BUIX ELEPHANT. 

(Africa.) 




'1 : 
(An 



a.) 



I a /ii<t p t ■f 



CHAPTER XXIV 

We strike oamp — Arrive in elephant country — An attempted mutiny in 
camj) — One black sheep in the flock — Armed, literally to the teeth — 
Alarming situation — Drastic measures nec^sary — I threaten to shoot 
the ring- leader — A critical moment — Cocking my rifle turns the scale 
— Order restored — Jungles teeming with game — Herd of elephants 
reported — Preparation for the attack — In the midst of the herd — 
Shoot one of them — Habe-Awal and Gadabarsi horsemen surround 
the herd — .Tungle alive with elephants — I kill five bulls and one cow 
— Fine haul of tusks — Continue hunt next morning — At unpleasantly 
close quarters — Under the elephant's trunk — Saved by standing still 
— ^The elephant moves off — A parting shot in the ribs — Follow up and 
finish her — Shoot another bull — Bivouac for the night — Lion heard 
calling — New3 of a large bull — Found and wounded — A determined 
charge — Retires into a jangle — At bay — I hit him again — Another 
chargo— I am chased uid nearly caught — I give him the slip — Re* 
turn to oamp— Take up tracks next day — Found dead — Move oamp — 
Hix elcpiiants bagged one day — Charged by a cow elephant — A Somali 
attracts her attention — She chases him — He is caught and killed 
instantly — Pounded beyond reo<^pution — I kill the elephant — We 
try but fail to capture the calf. 

We now struck camp, and marching throujjli an unexplored 
portion of the Gadabarsi country towards tlie Harawa 
Valley, camped at Leakat, whence I sent mounted nun in 
all directions in search of khubbar of elcpliants. But 
before going on to relate my adventures, I nuist tell of an 
incident which had come perilously near to ending my 
expedition. 

I had been noticing for ^omc time that Khaliffa — one 
of my principal hunters — thoroughly awure of his own 
importance as an unequalled tracker — seemed to be dis- 
satisfied, and though he had not done any tiling sufhcicntly 
pronounced to call for comment on my part, his miinner 
was sulky and not a good or cheering example to the rest of 
the men. 

Now, on an ex|)edition of tins kind, it gOCS inthout 

IBS 



TIGER SLAYER BY ORDER 

saying that it is essential there should be general good- 
fellowship between master and men, and throughout the 
camp. This I had endeavoured to establish, with the 
result that often on my return to the camp after a lucky 
day's sport my smiling Somalis would clap me on the back 
saying, " Good chap ! Good chap ! " — being all the English 
they possessed — then dance round me clapping their hands 
in the exuberance of their glee. 

On the other hand, if we had failed to secure some 
wounded animal, or had had a poor day's sport, their 
disappointment seemed to be as keen as my own, and they 
would show their sympathy by many attentive little 
actions. 

There was destined to be, however, an unpleasant, and 
what might have proved tragic break in these harmonious 
relations ; for, returning one evening from a long day's 
chase after oryx, I was met by my head man Abdi, who, 
evidently in a great state of excitement and apprehension, 
reported that Khaliffa had mutinied and was deserting the 
camp with some of his tribesmen. Telling Abdi to keep 
quiet and not cause any further excitement among the men, 
I walked into the zareba. Here I found Khaliffa, armed 
with a rifle and a bundle of cartridges, held between his 
teeth, leading one of my camels laden with provisions. On 
asking him what he intended doing, he spat on the ground, 
and, looking sullenly around, beckoned to some of his 
tribesmen, who, all armed too, were standing near, to follow 
him. 

There being no doubt as to his intentions, I determined 
to squash the mutiny, for such it seemed to be, by taking 
prompt and drastic measures — knowing that any delay, or 
weakness on my part, would be fatal, and had quite made 
up my mind that if this was to be the end of the expedition, 
it should also be the ending of Khaliffa's career. 

Acting on this resolution, I picked up a twig from the 
ground, and throwing it some distance from me towards the 
entrance to the zareba, I told him that if he dared to pass 
this twig I would shoot him on the spot — which I certainly 
would have done. Hearing the click of my rifle as I put 
it to full cock, he fell back, whereupon we promptly dis- 
armed him. 
184 



A LARGE HERD OF ELEPHANTS ENCOUNTERED 

The question was now : What to do with him ? We 
were a long way from the coast, and to send him back to 
Berbera under escort, would mean weakening my caravan. 
It was a difficult problem to solve; however, after expending 
on him my choicest vocabulary of abuse, I made a great 
show of magnanimity and forgave him ! As he gave no 
further trouble throughout the expedition, I could only 
conclude that he had been duly impressed by the action I 
had taken. 

But to return to my camp at Leakat ; we found the 
jungles here teeming with game, and saw large herds of 
oryx, hartebeest and sommering gazelles almost daily, 
but being after nobler game we left all these animals 
severely alone. 

One morning about eight o'clock one of my tracker scouts 
rode in to say that his party had struck the spoor of a large 
herd of elephants, some six miles off. We saddled up at 
once and, following our guide, came on the herd, consisting 
of some sixty individuals, in a thick forest of the largest 
kind of thorn trees, with gnarled stems and branches, in 
an undergrowth of grass and aloes. 

We were a large party of ten horsemen of the Habe 
Awal and Gadabarsi tribe, beside ray own two men, Gung- 
dya and Sabha. As we reined in at the edge of the forest, 
we heard the snapping of branches, and the peculiar low, 
rumbling noise elephants make when feeding, in the dense 
covert in front of us. 

Taking Khaliffa, the reformed, and Sabha with me, I 
cautiously crept forward and suddenly found myself in the 
midst of the herd. Firing at the largest elephant — which 
unfortunately turned out to be a cow — I brought her down 
with a shot in the temple. 

The horsemen now surroundcti the herd and formed a 
• urdon round them. It was very exciting work as these 
wild-looking riders, brandishing their spears dashed forward 
at headlong speed regardless of thorn trees and bushes, and 
circling roimd the now infuriated animals prevented them 
from breaking out of the ring. 

Tlie jungli- seemed alive with elephants, rushing singly 

in groups of five or six in all directions, intent only on 
(■aping. I had killed five bulls with shoulder and temple 



TIGER SLAYER BY ORDER 

shots, and was thinking of calling off the horsemen as there 
did not seem to be any more large animals left, when there 
was a sudden crash, accompanied by shrill trumpeting, 
and a small herd of elephants, headed by a monster bull, 
came charging down an avenue composed of thorn trees and 
aloes, directly on our position. 

So intent were they on getting away that they had 
apparently not seen us. Khaliffa, who had my second gun, 
promptly dived into a bush, but Sabha, notwithstanding 
that he had never seen a wild elephant before, stood firm 
and, firing into the leading animals, we fortunately turned 
them. 

There is always danger attending this kind of sport, 
for in the general stampede that takes place there is a great 
risk of being trampled underfoot. The horsemen now 
coming up, the cordon was broken and the big tusker with 
the remaining elephants made off. I was greatly dis- 
appointed in not securing the big fellow, for he had a 
splendid pair of ivories. 

However, we had done very well, five bull elephants, 
and a cow shot by mistake. It took us two full days to 
cut out all the tusks, the largest pair weighing over 90 lbs. 

The following morning found us in the saddle again on 
the spoor of another herd, which we followed for some 
fourteen miles and finally came upon the elephants, standing 
about and feeding in a broad valley covered with thorn 
trees and aloes^ 

This herd was a small one, consisting of one bull and 
six cows. Throwing up some sand to find the direction 
of the wind, I took Khaliffa with me, and creeping cautiously 
up towards the bull, who was standing a little apart from 
the others, was about to take the temple shot when I was 
startled by a report of a rifle close to my ear. 

Turning sharply round, I found myself close to 
a cow elephant, who, with trunk curled up, ears 
thrown forward, and trumpeting furiously, was not five 
yards away. Instantly it struck me that our only safety 
lay in showing a bold front, for a shot at such close quarters 
unless instantly fatal, or any movement on our part would, 
I knew, only provoke a charge. 

So whispering to Khaliffa to stand firm, we stood 
186 



A COW AND BULL ELEPHANT BAGGED 

perfectly still, facing the brute, who kept up a succession 
of shrill screams, with which the whole jungle seemed to 
vibrate, for a minute that appeared the longest I had ever 
passed. Suddenly she swung round and made off in the 
direction taken by the other elephants, but not before I had 
lodged a bullet from the 8-bore in her ribs. 

It now appeared that, while I was stalking the bull, 
this vicious old cow had got our wind, and had quietly 
come up from behind — ^apparently to inspect us more 
closely — when Khaliffa, happening to look round at that 
moment, fortunately saw her and blazed into her face with 
my 10-bore. The shot had evidently done her no harm, 
but so close was she that I have not the slightest doubt 
that, but for Khaliffa's fortunate intervention one, or perhaps 
both, of us might have been killed. 

We now took up the tracks of the wounded cow by the 
blood, of which there was plenty, and soon came on her 
standing within twenty yards of a bush, looking very savage. 
Stalking up to this bush, which was to leeward of her, I 
killed her with a shot in the temple. Though a large 
elephant, her tusks wore merely stumps and not worth 
taking. 

Quickly mounting our horses, which we had left some 
distance off, we now took up the spoor of the rest of the herd, 
and eventually came upon them late in the evening in an 
open plain covered with grass and scrub. They were 
walking slowly on, swinging their trunks from side to side 
kI quite unconscious of our approach. 

Galloping ahead, with Khaliffa following, I was soon on 
• level with the bull, who was amongst the rearmost 
iininmls, and about thirty yards to his left. Jumping off, 
I fired a right and left at his shoulder with the 8-bore 
Paradox. On receiving the shots he ran on a few yards, 
t hen fell over, dead. 

It was nearly dark by the time we had removed the tusks 
uhich were quite a nice pair. Tlicn collecting some dry 
wiKxl, we made a fire and lay down beside the dead elephant. 
During the night I heard a lion roar not far from our 
'•ivouac. 

In the morning, on our way back to camp, I shot a fine 
^ser koodoo, and wounded an oryx bull which my men 

187 



TIGER SLAYER BY ORDER 

retrieved next morning, being drawn to the spot by the 
vultures. 

It was late in the afternoon, a few days after this 
incident, that a Somali from an adjoining Karia rode in to 
say that he had seen a very large bull elephant about a mile 
from the camp. 

We lost no time in saddling our horses and, guided by 
our informant, soon came in full view of the elephant, 
crossing an open, grassy plain at a brisk trot, for he had 
evidently seen or winded us, and was making for a thick 
belt of jungle skirting the valley on the further side. 

Galloping hard, closely followed by Nur, I was soon 
alongside of the bull, and firing from the saddle, gave him 
a good shot between the shoulders, but before I had time 
to mark the effect of the shot he wheeled suddenly round 
and giving a shrill scream charged most determinedly, 
chasing me for about a hundred yards, then, pulling up, 
made for the same strip of jungle again. 

Shouting to Nur to follow me, I galloped hard to inter- 
cept him, and after an exciting chase headed him off, 
bringing him to a standstill facing me, about thirty yards 
distant, looking the picture of annoyance. 

I now heard shouting to my left, and the elephant, 
seeing Nur galloping up, turned in that direction, exposing 
his shoulder. I fired a right and left at once, hitting him 
fairly in the ribs, when on he came again, screaming like 
a steam engine. 

Following every turn of my horse, I thought he would 
have caught me, when, on reaching the strip of jungle, I 
turned suddenly to the left and, the wind being favourable, 
succeeded in giving him the slip. 

By this time the sun was nearly down and being utterly 
fagged out, we made the best of our way to camp, which, 
however, we did not reach till some hours after dark. 

The next morning we took up the tracks of the bull and 
found him eventually, lying on his side quite dead. He 
was a splendid old fellow, with a remarkable fine pair of 
tusks. I photographed him as he lay in the strong defensive 
position to which he had finally retreated. 

We remained several days at this camp, overhauling our 
stores, preserving our specimens, photographing the dead 
188 



SOMALI KILLED BY AN ELEPHANT 

elephant, etc., and then moved on to the Harawa Valley, 
when I was fortunate enough in securing more elephants 
and lions. 

One day, having bagged six elephants, we had dis- 
mounted and were standing round their bodies, admiring 
our prizes, when suddenly we saw a little calf, about four 
feet high, coming in our direction followed by a cow elephant. 
The latter, on seeing us spread her ears at once and trumpet- 
ing shrilly charged down on us. 

Knowing I had only one cartridge in my gun and there 
was no time to reload, I reserved my fire. Just then a 
Somali from an adjoining Karia, who had joined the hunt 
and was standing a Uttle way off, ran towards us for pro- 
tection. 

The elephant, catching sight of him, gave chase at once 
and before he had run a dozen yards picked him up and 
killed him instantly, rolling him between her feet and 
driving her tusks through his body. On our running up 
and shouting at her, she left the man and made for us, charg- 
ing most determinedly, when, with a lucky shot, I dropped 
her dead, the bullet, striking her between the eyes, having 
penetrated the brain. 

Our first thought now was for the injured man, but on 
going up to him we found he was quite dead — pummelled 
absolutely, beyond all recognition. 

Meanwhile, the little calf, which had never left his 
mother's side was trumpeting and squealing and charging 
anyone who attempted to approach him. We tried to 
secure him with ropes, but without success, and eventually, 
though much to my regret, were obliged to abandon the 
''■nipt. 

Often, in after years, when telling the talc of this 
adventure, I have been blamed for failing to capture a 
prize so rare as a young elephant, and no doubt by making 
a greater effort, I might possibly have succeeded in securing 
it. But, what with looking after my caravan, protecting 
myself from unfriendly natives, etc., etc., I was not par- 
ticularly anxious to increase my troubles and responsibilities 
by adding an irascible little elephant to my establishment, 
which was already as large as I could manage. 

189 



CHAPTER XXV 

Move my camp — En route to Abyssinian border — Halt at a Karia — Gung- 
dya bitten by a snake — Rough and ready remedies — The patient 
recovers — A deadly adder — I am regarded as a curiosity — An in- 
voluntary exhibition — Bad water — The water difficulty — March 
resumed — Shoot a wart-hog — The animal described — A permanent 
camp — Good sport — Native elephant huntei-s — Their methods des- 
cribed — Quotation from Sir Samuel Baker — Hamstriuging elephants 
— A reno^vned Arab hunter — Advancing on his quarry — The bay 
mare — Face to face — A tense moment — The hunter hunted — Clever 
manoeuvring — The blow delivered — A handful of dust — The second 
blow — Bleeding to death — A herd of giraffe — The Somali species 
different from South African — I secure a fine old bull — The hunt 
described — Another buU shot — The wild ass — Secure two as specimens 
— A woman and child abandoned by Somalis — I act the good Samaritan 
— Death of the mother — The infant on my hands — How to rear it ? — 
The problem solved — Condensed milk and sago — Wonderful results 
— The pet of the camp — Infant physical culture — The Somali method 
— My leave draws to a close — Forced marches to the coast — Mal- 
odorous trophies — Back to Bombay — I meet Sir Samuel Baker — 
Interesting conversation — An enthusiastic sportsman. 

The horrible tragedy just related east such a gloom over 
my men that I determined to move my camp next morning 
to a well on the border of Abyssinia. Marching the whole 
day along the old caravan route we arrived at a Karia — 
the name of which I forget — and halted for the night. 

While the men were cutting down trees, etc., to form the 
usual zareba, I strolled out with my gun, accompanied 
by my Bhil orderly, Gungdya, to shoot some guinea-fowl 
for the pot, a number of these birds being in the vicinity 
of the camp. 

We were strolling along leisurely, when Gungdya 
suddenly gave a scream, and said he had been bitten by a 
snake. Looking on the ground I saw the snake — which 
was about a foot long — gliding away into some bushes, 
190 



SCARCITY OF WATER 

but we followed and promptly killed it, then, taking 
Gungdya by the arm, I ran him back to camp. 

Here, cutting open the wound, which was on the ankle, 
I rubbed in a quantity of salt, the only remedy I could 
think of besides brandy, of which I gave him a good dose, 
then ran him up and down to keep up the circulation, for 
he was becoming very drowsy. However, by the next 
morning he had quite recovered, though there was no doubt 
that the snake was a poisonous one, for the Somali declared 
it to be the Abeso, a kind of adder, the bite of which is said 
i o be very deadly. 

Most of the natives at this Karia had never seen a 
r.uropean before. They consequently regarded me much 
in the same way as one might a new animal at the Zoo, and 
flocked in such numbers to inspect me, that my camp soon 
resembled that of some travelling circus or menagerie. 
Unfortunately there was no gate-money for entrance, or 
the exhibition would have been quite a profitable 
business ! 

The water at the camp was very brackish, and black 
ahnost as pitch, with a thick blue scum on it, and an odour 
altogether indescribable. Even when boiled, and mixed 
with alum, it was quite unfit to drink, while any food cooked 
in it was practically uneatable. 

The water supply is always a difficulty in an African 
rxpcdition, and when crossing the Maritime plains, we 
had to be exceedingly careful. My specially constructed 
casks were always kept under lock and key, and the water 
doled out in rations by Abdi, the headman. 

A bath was quite out of the question all this time, and 
until we reached water — at the other end of the desert — 
when I managed to procure one in my little indiarubber 
tub, but my ablutions even then could hardly be described 
as a bath. Nevertheless, the operation was a Godsend 
to my two milch goats, for no sooner had I finished, than 
they lapped down the soapy water with an avidity that 
proved liow thirsty they must have been. However, at 
this particular Karia, where we were encamped, the water 
was so exceptionally bad, that we decided to move further 
north to the extreme edge of the Harawa V^ailey, and to 
form a permanent camp on the Abyssinian border. 

191 



TIGER SLAYER BY ORDER 

On this march I shot a very fine specimen of the wart- 
hog. They are very formidable looking beasts, armed with 
enormous white tusks, but as compared with the valiant 
Indian boar are really cowards at heart. The large, 
fleshy protuberances beneath the eyes and near the snout 
give this animal its appropriate name of wart-hog. 

It is very difficult to find them in rideable country, 
hence they are not hunted after the Indian manner with a 
spear but are generally shot. I speared one once, however, 
near Berbera, but this beast had been previously wounded 
by a bullet. 

We remained in this beautiful country where we formed 
our permanent camp for several weeks, during which time 
I was seldom, from sunrise to sunset, more than an hour 
at the camp, being always out hunting either in the saddle 
or on foot. 

The country simply abounded with game to an extent 
I never yet had seen, and I had most glorious sport with 
elephants, lions and a variety of antelopes. The natives, 
too, w ere very friendly, flocking to my camp for meat, of 
which I had always plenty. 

This was my last shooting camp of any importance in 
Somaliland, but before concluding the narrative of my 
adventures in that country, I must not omit to mention 
a strange and cruel method of hunting elephants resorted 
to by some of the Gadabarsi elephant hunters. While a 
band of these were with me at one of my camps, they 
described their method to me. It appears that like the 
Hamran Arabs, they ride after an elepjhant and hamstring 
him with a sword, one man riding in front, usually on a 
white horse to attract the elephant's attention. The 
swords used are single-handed ones, with blades as sharp 
as razors, strapped to a bone handle with raw hide. 

In describing their manner of attacking an elephant 
I cannot do better than quote the following passage from 
Sir Samuel Baker's most interesting work, " Nile Tributaries 
of Abyssinia " : — 

" The elephant stood facing us like a statue ; it 
did not move a single muscle beyond a quick and 
restless action of the eyes, that were watching all 
192 



A QUOTATION FROM SIR SAMUEL BAKER 

sides. Tahir Sherriff and his youngest brother 
Ibrahim now separated, and each took opposite sides 
of the elephant, and then joined each other about 
twenty paces behind it, I accompanied them until 
Tahir advised me to keep about the same distance 
upon the left flank. In front of the elephant were 
two Aggageers — one of whom was the renowned 
Rodder Sherriff — with the withered arm. All being 
ready for action. Rodder now rode slowly towards 
the head of the cunning old bull, who was quietly 
awaiting an opportunity to make certain of some one 
who might give him a good chance. Rodder rode a 
bay mare. . . . Slowly and coolly she advanced 
towards her wary antagonist, until within about eight 
or nine yards of the elephant's head, the creature 
never moved, and the mise en scene was beautiful ; 
not a word was spoken, and we kept our places amidst 
utter silence, which was at length broken by a snort 
from the mare who gazed intently at the elephant, 
as though watching for the moment of attack ; one 
more pace forward and Rodder sat coolly upon his mare, 
with his eyes fixed upon those of the elephant. For 
an instant I saw the white of his eye nearest to me. 
' Look out. Rodder, he's coming ! ' I exclaimed. With 
a shrill scream the elephant dashed upon him like an 
avalanche ! Round went the mare as though upon a 
pivot, and away over rocks and stones, fljing like a 
gazelle, with the monkey-like form of little Rodder 
Sherriff leaning forward and looking over his left 
shoulder as the elephant rushed after him. For a 
moment I thought he would be caught. Had his 
mare stumbled all was lost, but she gained in the race — 
after a few quick bounding strides, and Rodder still 
looking behind him, kept his distance so close to the 
elephant that its outstretched trunk was within a 
few paces of the mare's tail. 

" Tahir Sherriff and his brother Ibrahim swept 
down like falcons in his rear. In full speed they 
dexterously avoidetl the trees until they arrived up<Mi 
open ground, when they dashed up close to the hind- 
quarters of the furious elephant, who maddened with 

o 198 



TIGER SLAYER BY ORDER 

the excitement, heeded nothing but Rodder and his 
mare, that was almost in his grasp. When close to 
the tail of the elephant, Tahir Sherriff' s sword flashed 
from its sheath, as grasping his trusty blade he leapt 
nimbly to the ground, while Ibrahim caught the reins 
of his horse ; two or three bounds on foot, with his 
sword clutched in both hands, and he was close behind 
the elephant ; a bright gleam shone like lightning as 
the sun struck upon his descending steel ; this was 
followed by a dull crack, as the sword cut through skin 
and sinews and settled deep in the bone, about twelve 
inches above the foot. At the next stride the elephant 
halted dead short in the midst of its tremendous 
charge. Tahir had jumped quickly on one side and 
had vaulted into his saddle with his naked sword in 
hand. At the same moment Rodder, who had led 
the chase, turned sharp round, and again faced the 
elephant as before. Stooping quickly from his saddle 
he picked up from the ground a handful of dust which 
he threw into the face of the vicious-looking animal 
that once more attempted to iTish upon him. It was 
impossible — his foot was dislocated and turned up in 
front like an old shoe. In an instant Tahir was once 
more on foot, and again his sharp sword slashed the 
remaining leg. The great brute could not move ! 
The first cut with the sword had utterly disabled it ; 
the second was its death-blow, the arteries of the leg 
were divided, and the blood spurted in jets from his 
wounds. The elephant now quickly bled to death." 

I have quoted the passage in its entirety because it 
would have been difficult to abstract it ; nor could I venture 
to take such a liberty with the writings of a sportsman so 
renowned. From the graphic description of the attack it 
would appear that the methods employed by the Hamran 
Arab were much the same as those described by the Gada- 
barsi hunters, except that the latter use their swords 
single-handed, and do not dismount, but deal their blow 
from horseback and when going at full gallop. 

****** 

While encamped on the border of Abyssinia — in thej 
194 



MY FIRST GIRAFFES 

permanent camp I have mentioned — I was very lucky in 
cominfj across a herd of giraffes, for, as a rule, these animals 
are onJy to be met with much further north on the Webbe. 

The SomaU giraffe, however, differs from the South 
African species, the markings being much lighter and the 
patches of colour divided into more hexagonal and sex- 
agonal shapes. They are very difficult to approach, their 
thin, long necks and extraordinary power of vision enabling 
them to detect their enemies a long way off. 

Of the two I killed, one was a remarkably fine old bull, 
which we secured after a most exciting stalk. The herd to 
which he belonged was standing upon an elevated position 
from whence they could keep a good look out. The wind 
being favourable, however, I crept up, inch by inch, 
marking a thick bush as my point of cover. 

I had my "SOO Express loaded with five and a half drams 
of powder and solid bullets, and when within about eighty 
yards, I took a steady aim at the bull ; the satisfactory 
sound of the ball striking upon his mottled hide was 
followed by his blundering forward and falling heavily on 
his side, stone dead. 

Quickly reloading, I followed the herd — now shambling 
along at a tremendous pace^-and by a lucky shot managed 
to break the leg of another bull which was soon caught up 
and despatched by my eager Somalis, ever on the look out 
for meat. 

These were my first giraffes ; unfortunately, I had not 
my camera with me that day, or would have photographed 
them, for they are splendid-looking animals, though, 
despite their great size, probably the most helpless of all the 
bnite creation. They stand from fifteen to eighteen feet 
in height, but for protective purposes this gives them no 
advantage, and it is entirely to the swiftness of their pace 
and extraordinary length of vision that they trust to for 
'^'•otection from their enemies. 

The only other animal of any size that I met with in 
s in:.1iland was the wild ass, which is common in sterile 
p.nK (if the Cuban. It is a fine-looking beast with striped 
l< l:s like a zebra, but can hardly be considered as game 
1 1' >ni the sportsman's point of view. I shot a couple in the 
< oursc of the expedition to preserve as specimens. 

195 



TIGER SLAYER BY ORDER 

Talking of specimens reminds me of another live product 
of the country which I acquired in a somewhat curious 
fashion on my way to the interior. I had passed various 
caravans of armed Somalis, journeying to the coast with 
strings of camels laden with skins, etc., when, one day, I 
came across a wretched woman, who had lately given 
birth to a child, and being too feeble to keep up with the 
caravan, had been left, together with the infant, on the 
road. I picked them up and, much to the disgust of my 
men, had them carefully placed on a camel and taken to my 
zareba, where the woman, who was in the last stage of 
exhaustion, subsequently died. The difficulty now arose 
as to how to rear the child, but we finally overcame this 
by feeding him on condensed milk and sago — a diet which 
evidently suited him, for he throve wonderfully well on it, 
soon becoming strong and fat. 

He came in time to be a great pet with the men, who, 
whether as an experiment or in accordance with recognized 
Somali methods for the physical improvement of their 
young, used to oil and grease him all over, then put him 
out in the sun to dry ! 

He had been with us for several months, when one day, 
happening to fall in with another caravan of his tribesmen, 
I handed him over to them. This incident not only 
confirms what I have said as to the callousness of the 
Somalis with reference to their woman-kind, but would 
serve to prove the fallacy of ultra-civilization ; for I am 
convinced no newly-born European infant in like circum- 
stances would have survived the ordeal. But to go on 
with my story, my time was now drawing to a close, and I 
had to make all haste I could to reach the coast. However, 
by a succession of forced marches I accomplished the 
journey in an extraordinarily short time. On arrival at 
Aden, I found the garrison all down with danki — a kind 
of rheumatic fever which had broken out in epidemic form. 
I fared no better than the rest, but, fortunately, before my 
steamer sailed, I had sufficiently recovered to be able to go 
on board. 

All my skins, which had been carefully packed up inj 
bales, were relegated to the hold, but some of my best' 
heads I insisted on keeping in my cabin much to the 
196 



RETURN TO INDIA AND KANDESH 

exasperation of the captain, for they were fairly odoriferous, 
as I was later to discover. 

Luckily the voyage, so far as I was concerned, was a 
short one, otherwise my fellow passengers in adjacent 
cabins might have been driven to protest. During the 
first days of the voyage I was much troubled with fever, 
but had managed to shake off the worst of it by the time 
we reached Bombay. 

I had a great welcome given me on my return to 
Khandesh, my friends being all much interested in the 
result of my expedition, and in the photos and trophies I 
had secured. But my reception was as nothing compared 
to that afforded by their friends to Sabha and Gungdya, 
who were quite heroes for a time I 

I stayed a week-end at Government House before 
leaving Bombay, and gave an account of my experiences 

to Lord H , who, it will be remembered, had helped and 

encouraged me in carrying out the expedition. 

It was during this visit I first met Sir Samuel Baker, 
the great hunter and explorer, also Lady Baker, and was 
much interested in his conversation, though I found him 
somewhat reticent as regards his own exploits. He told 
me he had made five trips to India without having suc- 

led in bagging a bison — an animal he was particularly 

II to secure. 

I do not know whether he ever accomplished this 
u. -.ire, but considering his years, and that he had shot 
almost every kind of dangerous animal in the world, I 
could not but admire the enthusiasm and determination 
he showed to obtain this one particular sMeclnien I 



197 



CHAPTER XXVI 

At Dharwar again — •Hear of wild elephants in Kanara jungle — Damage done 
to crops — Native District Officer puzzled — His petition to Govern- 
ment — Forest officer and myself consulted — Suggestion and inaction 
— I act on my own — Special shooting camp — An unlucky guest — Some 
erratic shooting — " Nearly a record bag " — Commendable persever- 
ance — The elephants at last — A moonUght hunt — Watching the herd 
— Close quarters — I fire at a bull — A forehead shot — Effect instantane- 
ous — Another bull floored — Let off a smaU one — The herd makes off 
— Congratulations — Dangerous " vermin " — Natives' misuse of Eng- 
lish words and phrases — Slave to rules and regulations — The lonely 
railway station — Young Bengal — A sudden invasion — Flight of the 
staff — Besieged in his office — Only one thing to be done — A wire to 
headquarters — "Tiger in charge" — Realizing the situation — A night 
of mental torture — Morning brings rehef — Wild dogs — The damage 
they do — A nuisance to sportsmen — Hunting in packs — Tigers occa- 
sionally attacked — Description of the animal — Difference between the 
wild and the domestic dog — Crocodile, method of attacking their victims 
— The final rush. 

Some years after my return from Somaliland — as far as 
I can remember some time in the year 1906 — while stationed 
at Dharwar, I heard of a herd of elephants having crossed 
over from Mysore, where they are strictly preserved, into 
the Kanara jungles which borders on Dharwar. 

The advent of these elephants caused such consterna- 
tion in Kanara, as they were roaming about the country 
and doing considerable damage to the crops. The collector 
at the time happening to be a native, and, unfortunately, 
a Perbu, a caste not remarkable for courage, was much 
exercised in his mind at the ravages committed by these 
animals. 

At his wits' end to know what he was to do, he finally 
solved the difficulty, as he thought, by submitting an 
urgent appeal to Government in the following language : 
" That drastic measures should be taken to rid the country 
of these vermin, as the lives of Her Majesty's subjects, 
198 



RUMOURS OF WILD ELEPHANTS 

especially those of himself, wife and children, were in 
imminent peril." The Government of Bombay, despite 
the quaint wording of this application, recognized the 
seriousness of the situation and took up the matter, and, 
shortly afterwards, consulted the Forest Officer and myself 
as to the best means to be adopted for circumventing these 
brutes, as they were really causing havoc to the crops of the 
villages within a considerable area. 

I remember suggesting that one of the two following 
plans should be adopted : the first that some men might 
be sent from the Mysore Kheddah, which had been estab- 
lished on the lines of Sanderson's Klieddah, to capture the 
elephants by the creation of a temporary blockade, etc., 
or, failing this, that I might be authorized to shoot them, 
and be given the necessary leave and permission to enter the 
Kanara district and organize my campaign. 

Dharwar, as I have said, being on the borders of the 
Kanara district, there was a likelihood of these animals 
crossing over to my side. Accordingly, pending a reply 
to my suggestion, I arranged, whenever possible, to have 
my camp as near this border as I could. 

However, as neither the Forest Officer nor myself received 
any reply from the Government to the suggestions we had 
'Tiade, we naturally concluded that they had given up all 
lea of disturbing the elephants, trusting probably they 
would return to Mysore on their own account. It trari^- 
pired afterwards, however, and much to my amusenunl, 
that the elephants were being preserved for some high 
personages, who were contemplating a shooting trip to 
Kanara themselves I 

Finally, about Christmas time, hearing rumours of the 
tlephants having been seen close to the southern borders of 
Dharwar, I arranged to have my usual Christmas camp in 
that locality, where I was eventually joined by one or two 
others, for, as I said before, a camp at this festive season 
is generally a larger one than usual. 

Amongst thase who were there on this occasion was a 
> oung civilian, who had recently purchased a very valuable 
'• "I ' which had cost him several hundred nij>ees. On the 
<: i\ before he rode out to the camp, he had sent his animal 
on to change to halfway. The next morning on arriving 

109 



TIGER SLAYER BY ORDER 

at this stage he found the horse standing unprotected, 
exposed to a cold easterly wind, while the syce was sleeping 
soundly, wrapped up in the blankets belonging to theanimal. 
The result of this was that next morning — in spite of every 
effort made to ward off the effects of the chill — the horse 
showed unmistakable symptoms of kumri — ^paralysis of the 
loins ; and although a vet was sent for, and did what he 
could for the animal, it died the next evening. To begin 
our camp with a disaster was clearly a bad omen ; and 
such unfortunately it proved, for we saw nothing of the 
elephants, while of other animals, all we bagged were two 
panthers and, incidentally, an ordinary village cow ! The 
last falling to the rifle of an absent-minded sportsman, 
and a somewhat dangerous neighbour when out shooting ; 
for, notwithstanding his exploit, for which he had to pay 
a large sum as compensation, his next performance was to 
pepper me with a charge of No. 6, which, but for my leather 
gaiters, might have damaged me considerably. 

The incident reminded me of rather an amusing story 
told of an Indian civilian, who, though not a sportsman 
himself, happened to be appointed as District Officer to one 
of the most sporting districts in Bengal, where he gradually 
acquired a taste for sport and sedulously set to work to make 
himself efficient in the use of guns and rifles, and in the art 
of shooting generally. 

Unfortunately, while still in the rudimentary stage of 
his education, he was induced one day to take part in a 
big drive with elephants through some jungle near the 
station, a kind of annual wind-up of the shooting season, 
when anything put up may be fired at from a tiger to a 
partridge. Next morning the police officer, whose duties 
had prevented him from joining the shooting party, having 
occasion to consult the District Officer on some business, 
found him seated at the table in his office, with his head 
resting between his hands, apparently in a most dejected 
form of mind. He looked up as his visitor approached, 
and to his question as to whether he had made a big bag 
at the shoot, replied in a doleful tone of voice, that he was 
much afraid he had made a very big one, for he had shot 
one of the beating elephants as well as its mahout ! He 
then went on to explain how the accident had occurred. 
200 



SHOOTING ELEPHANTS BY MOONLIGHT 

It appeared that at the end of the last beat a partridge 
rising in front of him, had flown down the line, he had fired 
at it, but too late, and missing the bird, hit an elephant 
and mahout who were in the line of fire. 

Fortunately, being at the end of the line they were 
some distance off, hence neither were seriously injured ; 
nevertheless, the author of this exploit had a bad time of 
it for some months. However, by sticking doggedly to the 
business, he triumphed in the end, eventually becoming 
one of the best sportsmen in the district. 

Some months after the Christmas meeting, when the 
rainy season had set in, I had occasion to visit this part 
of the district again to investigate a dacoity case, and was 
encamped about sixteen miles from a place called Karjot, 
on the Kanara borders, where I had established a system 
of mounted patrols for the suppression of dacoities. 

One afternoon about three o'clock, a sowar * belonging 
to these patrols rode into camp, evidently much excited, 
and reported that the elephants we had been in quest of 
were at the moment close to Karjot, where they had already 
done, and were doing, a considerable amount of damage 
to the villages. I started at once, but as my men were all on 
foot, we did not reach the village until late in the evening, 
when I found a deputation of some two himdred villagers 
awaiting my arrival, all in a great state of excitement, 
as they declared that the elephants were quite near, and 
only waiting for nightfall to revisit their crops. 

They sho>^ed me their wheat and paddy fields, acres of 
which, I saw, had been trodden down and destroyed by 
these destructive brutes. As there was a good moon and 
the night therefore almost as Ught as day, we took up their 
I racks at once, and soon came on the elephants in a network 
of ravines some three-quarters of a mile from the village. 

The herd consiste<l of three bulls and some fourteen 
cows, and very imposing they looked in the moonlight ; 
though not to be compared, in my opinion, to their African 
l)rethren, either in stature or general appearance. The 
wind being favourable, I carried out my old plan of creeping 
close up to them, and it was greatly to the credit uf my two 

• Trooper. 

901 



TIGER SLAYER BY ORDER 

police orderlies to have stuck to me as closely as they did, 
for neither of them had seen a wild elephant before. 

We now stood beside a small tree watching the herd, 
when suddenly one of the bulls turned his head in our 
direction, being hardly two spears' length from us. I fired 
at once, and the bullet striking him in the centre of the 
forehead, he fell dead with hardly a struggle. 

Losing no time I now ran in and floored another elephant 
— also a bull — with a shot in the shoulder, using the second 
barrel of my 8-bore Paradox ; and as the remaining bull 
was quite a young animal, not worth shooting, I did not 
attempt to follow up the herd, which rapidly moved off. 

Though greatly disappointed with the size of these 
elephants, as compared vnth the African variety, I was 
glad of the opportunity of testing the effects of the forehead 
and shoulder shots, and also to have freed the village of 
these dangerous pests. On my return to headquarters, I 
received many congratulations on my success ; though I 
fear the odium of having spoilt the sport of the high 
personages for whom these animals were being preserved, 
clung to me for many a month afterwards. 

The native collector doubtless rejoiced greatly at the 
destruction of these two " dangerous " vermin ! and 
probably congratulated himself at the success which had 
attended his wonderfully worded representation to the 
Government on the subject ! 

Apropos of this I much regret that space does not admit 
of my quoting more instances of the quaint phraseology 
made use of by native officers in their official communica- 
tions, but I am tempted to repeat one story in particular, 
which, though probably well known to Anglo-Indians, 
may possibly be fresh to ordinary English readers. 

The incident took place at a lonely railway flag-station 
surrounded by dense jungle, and some two hundred miles 
or more from the headquarters of the Traffic Department 
of that particular line. The station was in charge of a 
young Bengali sub-stationmaster, who, like many of his 
kind, was virtually an automaton, and having no initiative, 
being quite incapable of any action not provided for in the 
rules and regulations of the company. 

One evening, about an hour after the last train had 
202 



"TIGER IN CHARGE OF PLATFORM" 

passed his station, he was seated writing in his office, when 
he heard a great commotion on the platform, and looking 
through the door, saw his pointsman, and one or two other 
members of his staff, apparently flying for their lives in the 
direction of the village near the station ; while, further 
down the platform, was a huge tiger galloping towards his 
office. The situation was decidedly an unpleasant one for 
the unfortunate official, alone as he was in his office, and 
with no protective weapon more lethal than the office ruler. 
Fortunately there was but one door to the office, the key 
of which was providentially on the inner side. 

He had the presence of mind to draw the door quickly 
to and lock it, and could then have mounted to the room 
above, where with perfect safety he might have shouted at 
the tiger, and thus possibly driven it away ; but this did 
not occur to him, nor were there in the regulations, which 
he knew by heart, any .instructions on the subject of 
encounters between stationmasters and tigers. 

In these circumstances it seemed to his official mind 
t Iiat there was but one thing to be done, and that was to 
report the matter to headquarters and ask for assistance. 
How this was to be furnished in time to be of any use he 
did not trouble to conjecture, it was the proper procedure 
and, therefore, must be observed. 

Having arrived at this decision, he lost no time in 
carrying it out, with the result that about half an hour 
later, the traffic manager at headquarters, two hundred 
miles distant from the station, received the following 
quaintly worded message : " Tiger in charge of platform. 
1 Mease arrange.** 

The wording of the wire, though ridiculous as to the 
request it contained, was otherwise quite to the point ; for 
the tiger, at the moment, was certainly master of the 
situation, and maintained its position for some time, prowl- 
ing round the station buildings till far into the night, and 
occasionally sniffing at the door of the office as if meilitating 
an attemi)t to force its way in. 

Meanwhile the terror-stricken occupant, who, in spite 

of his blind confidence in routine, had realized that it was 

qTiite impossible for headquarters " to arrange,*' as he had 

<) confidingly requestcti, in time to save him, should the 

208 



TIGER SLAYER BY ORDER 

tiger succeed in breaking in during the night, which seemed 
more than likely. 

However, as it happened, he suffered nothing worse 
than a night of mental anguish, for it was not until the 
sun was well above the horizon, that he ventured to emerge 
from his shelter, when he dispatched another message 
reporting that " he had resumed charge of the station ! " 
****** 

With the shooting of the two elephants, as described 
in the earlier portion of this chapter, my list of wild animals 
shot in India was practically complete ; though there 
were two other beasts, or to be accurate, a beast and a 
reptile, which I find I have omitted to mention, viz., the 
wild dog and the crocodile, both of which I have often 
encountered in my wanderings after other game. 

The first, apart from the damage they do in the jungles, 
are a perfect nuisance to the sportsman, for they wander 
from one locality to another, and should they happen to be 
in the vicinity of his camp will scare the game for many 
miles. It is seldom that a tiger or panther is to be found 
in any jungle they frequent. They hunt singly, or more 
often in packs of about twenty, and have been even known 
to attack tigers, causing them to seek safety by climbing 
trees, a most unusual proceeding for a tiger, and one that 
proves how greatly they must fear these formidable foes. 

The wild dog is vulpine in appearance, and of a reddish- 
brown colour with full bushy tail, tipped with black. It has 
one peculiarity not generally known, I believe, but never- 
theless a fact, viz., that, unlike the domesticated species, it 
either cannot, or at any rate does not, bark. 

The crocodile, or rather alligator, though hardly coming 
under the category of game, is a formidable brute, and in 
certain localities quite as destructive to human life as a 
man-eating leopard or tiger. In attacking its victim, its 
tactics much resemble those of a German submarine. 
Reconnoitring long and warily from a distance, it ap- 
proaches with great caution, and, if suspicious, sinks at 
once below the surface ; often repeating the manoeuvre 
several times during its approach. If, on the other hand, 
the coast is clear, it will descend after the first look round, 
and, swimming under water, the next thing to be seen of 
204 



THE ALLIGATOR'S METHOD OF ATTACK 

it will be its rugged head and fishy eyes, slowly revolving 
in a last survey of its victim ; then eomes the final attack, 
delivered rapidly as lightning, as with a rush and mighty 
swish of the tail, it pounces on the unsuspecting prey and 
drags it under water. The best place to shoot these 
vicious reptiles is in the centre of the neck at its junction 
with the head, where, if a bull's eye is made, death will be 
practically instantaneous. 



305 



CHAPTER XXVII 

Wild-fowl and small game plentiful — Coolin and Saras — Venerated by 
natives — Many alligators — I shoot one — Internal evidence of human 
victims — Muggurs — The snub-nosed variety — Good fishing — Wild 
figs and frogs as bait — Shooting fish — Thieves in camp — Some descrip- 
tion of their methods — A victim's experience — Choice between being 
robbed or murdered — A clever thief — Carelessness of native syces — 
An example — Pony trap adventure — Both reins unbuckled — Pony 
bolts with cart — Two helpless women — A railway level crossing — 
Charging the gates — A smash — Advantages of being a heavy weight 
— Lying msensible on the hne — A train approaching — Agonizing sus- 
pense — A miraculous escape — The distracted husband — Well-merited 
castigation — Driving accidents not uncommon in India — Partially- 
trained horses — Amateur horse-breaking — Implements used — Home- 
made but useful — The break — Ramshackle contrivance — A haphazard 
system — Dangerous vices engendered — Bolting and shying — I fall a 
victim to the latter — More native carelessness — A coronation cele- 
bration — Arranging for a royal salute — An ancient weapon found — 
Volunteer gunners — Loading the weapon — The supreme moment 
arrives — The salute fired — Direful results — A tragic ending. 

While encamped on one occasion on the banks of the 
Tapti — ^the river mentioned in another chapter — I was 
much struck by the number of wild-fowl and small game of 
all kinds which seemed so plentiful. Every field was 
swarming with quail and in every patch of rushes we found 
snipe, while in the pools were duck of many kinds. 

There were also a number of coolin, or large blue 
crane, which come in huge flocks in the cold weather. 
I had shot these beautiful birds in both Nasik and Dharwar 
but had never met with them in such large numbers as 
they were here. 

I also fell in with the Sarus here, for the first time ; it 
is a huge bird belonging to the crane family of a light- 
blue colour with some white about the tail. The head and 
some eight inches of the neck are bright red, but devoid of 
206 



A HUGE ALLIGATOR BAGGED 

feathers, which detracts much from an otherwise very 
handsome bird. 

The natives regard these birds with some degree of 
veneration as they do also the peacock, hence, like the latter, 
they are seldom shot by Europeans, or at any rate by 
such who know the custom of the country, for it is bad 
policy to ignore the feelings of the people in such matters, 
especially from a sporting point of view. 

On the opposite side of the Tapti river, all along the 
edge of the bank, there were many huge alligators lying 
basking in the sun. One day, while walking along the bank 
near our tent, I saw one of these monsters, which hiid 
crawled out of the water, and lay in such a position that I 
was able to approach him. 

On reaching a sheltering bush, about fifteen yards from 
this brute, I fired two barrels into him before he could reach 
the water, which he managed to get to, however, and 
throwing himself into it, lashed about furiously with his 
tail for some time, but finally sank. 

Next morning we found him close to the bank, but quite 
dead, and the villagers, fastening a rope to the carcase, 
pulled him out. He was a huge brute, over ten feet in 
length, with a most formidable pair of jaws. On cutting 
him open, we found a large quantity of pebbles, also re- 
mains of glass bracelet and cloth, proving that he had de- 
voured some wretched woman, whom he had evidently 
caught when she had been fetching water from the river. 

Alligators — or muggurs, as the natives call the snub- 
nosed variety of the crocodile — are very bold in their attack. 
I have known of a pet dog been carried off while drinking 
at the river, within a few yards of where its master was 
standing. Goats, deer, and bullocks too occasionally, are 
also seized most cunningly by these brutes. 

In shooting them I have found that unless shot dead 
l)y a bullet in the head or neck, as already stated, they will 
invariably struggle into the water eventually returning to 
I he bank, if not disturbed, to die. 

When shooting wild-fowl, if a dog is used to retrieve 
hirds, it is «(>rtain, sooner or later, to be seized by one of 
tlust s;iuii;ins, and if a duck — woundctl or dead — falls into 
the water anywhere in the vicinity of one of these reptiles, 

SOT 



TIGER SLAYER BY ORDER 

it is almost certain to be taken. Many a shot bird thus 
disappears as if by magic, before the gunner's eyes. There 
is also some good fishing to be had at this camp, and I 
caught quite a number of bright, silvery little fish, some- 
what resembling trout which took the fly and minnow very 
readily. We also got some murrel in a large tank close by — 
the hook baited with, of all extraordinary things, wild 
figs or frogs. 

A number of these murrel were also shot by some of the 
men in camp, who fired at them from trees, as they lay 
basking near the surface of the water. These fish are 
excellent eating, the flesh being white and firm, with very 
few bones. 

We were greatly annoyed at this camp by thieves at 
night ; their dexterity was quite wonderful, and their bold- 
ness no less surprising, for they did not even hesitate to 
steal from my tent. With their bodies almost naked and 
well greased, they wriggled along the ground, between the 
sentries, and made off with everything they could lay 
their hands on. 

A connexion of mine, who once encamped near the hills, 
in a district where thieves as expert abounded, woke up 
one night to find a man attempting to remove the bangle 
from her arm. Having been previously warned of the 
dangerous character of these men, and their unscrupulous 
disregard of life, she had the presence of mind to feign 
sleep, while the man by first massaging her hands and 
using his oily fingers, eventually succeeded in slipping the 
bangle over them. It was, doubtless, most annoying to 
feel her bangle being abstracted, yet had she resisted, or 
even called for help, she would, in all probability, have 
been murdered. 

This same relative was the heroine in another, and 
equally perilous adventure, when once staying with some 
friends. Her hostess had driven her one evening to the 
club, and while the former was talking to her husband 
from the trap, the syce, unperceived by any of them, took 
the opportunity of readjusting the pony's bit ! The driver, 
having finished her conversation, but with her head still 
turned to her husband, flicked the pony with the whip, 
preparatory to starting, on which the animal, rather an 
208 



A MIRACULOUS ESCAPE 

impetuous beast, dashed forward, knocking down the 
syce. 

Pulling at the reins, the lady now discovered to her 
horror that both ends had been detached from the bit, and 
as she pulled at them, came into her hands. Meanwhile 
the pony, finding its head free, broke from a canter into a 
gallop, and finally bolted, with the two helpless women in 
the trap. Desperate as was their position, the knowledge 
that no one could help them made it worse. The pony, 
maddened by the rumbling of the trap behind him, galloped 
on at racing speed, till coming to the railway at a level 
crossing, about half a mile down the road, he attempted 
to jump the gates. 

My relative, being very light, was pitched over the gate, 
and lay stunned close to the line, with a handkerchief she 
was holding still in her outstretched hand, which seemed to 
be actually on the line. Her friend, who was of a less sylph- 
like build — in fact, of such solid proportions that not even the 
jar of the collision with the gate had succeeded in dis- 
lodging her — found herself still seated in the trap. 

But before she had time to wonder how this feat had 
been accomplished, her attention was attracted to a sound 
in the distance, which, growing louder every moment, soon 
revealed itself as the rumble of a train, which a moment 
later was seen rapidly approaching the spot where her friend 
lay senseless ! 

A second or two of agonizing suspense, and the engine 
ith its long line of massive waggons had swept past the 
prostrate figure, and right over the fluttering handkerchief 
it held. Providentially, the hand itself was not — as it had 
appeared to be — actually on the line ; yet so perilously near 
to it that as the train approached it had seemed to the 
anxious watcher as though nothing short of a miracle could 
avert the terrible calamity imjicnding. 

But the passing train was hardly out of sight when, 
to her inexpressible relief, her friend, recovering from her 
swoon, stood up, apparently unhurt and unconscious of 
the danger she had been in, and it was not till some moments 
later, when she was looking for her lost handkerchief, that 
she learnt all that had happened after the pony's attempt 
to jump the gates. 

P 909 



■ 



TIGER SLAYER BY ORDER 

In the end, the only individual who suffered from the 
misadventure — and deservedly so — was the author of it, 
to wit, the syce ; for his master, seeing his wife and her 
friend being whirled away to what seemed certain destruc- 
tion, and helpless to assist them, vented his feelings on him, 
and in a manner best calculated to impress upon him — 
mentally and physically — the folly of meddling with the 
harness when there are people in the trap. 

Driving accidents are probably more frequent in India 
than at home — partly because of the proverbial careless- 
ness of syces as in the case above ; but mainly due to the 
fact that horses and ponies are often used in harness before 
they have been thoroughly broken in, and especially is 
this so in the case of animals owned by officials and others 
quartered or residing in the country, or Mofussil. Take, 
for instance, horses or ponies belonging to a young civilian, 
subaltern, or policeman. These have probably been 
purchased at some livery stable in Bombay, Madras, or 
Calcutta, as the case may be, and warranted broken to 
saddle, which may often mean that they have had a saddle 
on, and perhaps been ridden once or twice by a native riding 
boy belonging to the stable, but, unless particularly re- 
quested, certainly not broken into harness. A month or 
two after the purchase, and when the owner has himself 
completed the animal's education as a riding horse, at the 
expense, possibly, of a fall or two, he will probably decide 
to put it into harness, and under the guidance of, or aided 
by his own, or some one else's syce, supposed to be an expert 
in the business, they proceed to carry out the process to 
the best of their combined abilities. 

The implements used, though somewhat primitive, are 
effective enough, up to a certain point. They consist 
firstly of a huge slab of wood, about five feet long by two 
broad, and some eight inches thick, to the front end of 
which is fixed an upright pole, and on each side an iron 
ring — a pair of long traces improvised out of rope, and 
reins of the same useful material, complete the para- 
phernalia. 

The horse, or pony, which for two or three days pre- 
viously has been led about morning and evening with the 
harness on to get accustomed to its weight and feel, is now 
210 



AMATEUR HORSE BREAKING IN INDIA 

harnessed to the log, with a man on each side of its head, 
and led along some smooth — or preferably grassy — road, 
on which the log will travel with the least friction and 
noise. 

This process is repeated for two or three days, or more, 
according to the temperament of the animal, and continued 
on an ordinary road, till the beast is believed to have 
become accustomed to the noise and friction of the drag, 
when the instructor gradually puts his weight on the log, 
and finally getting on to it, holds on by the pole, and with 
the reins in his other hand, drives the horse as if it is har- 
no^sed to a trap. 

After a day or two of this, its preliminary education 
ijcmg supposed to be completed, the animal is harnessed 
to a trap, the vehicle usually selected for this purpose 
being an old, ramshackle conveyance, tied up with rope ; 
apparently belonging to no one in particular but generally 
forthcoming when required. 

For the first day or two the horse devotes most of its 
energies to the demolition of this archaic structure, and 
often succeeds, but this matters little, for the fragments 
are soon reunited with rope, and the breaking in process 
continues, until the animal, though often merely tamed 
for the time, is supposed to be broken in completely. 

It is not surprising, therefore, that under such a hap- 
hazard system of training, animals so sensitive as horses 
' I lop such vices as bolting and shying, to which 
ig accidents are due. Of these two equally 
dangerous vices, the last is most common with Indian 
horses, trained in the perfunctory manner described, and 
of which I was once the unfortunate exponent. 

On this occasion I performed an acrobatic feat which 
few amateurs have equalled, and none, I am sure, have 
ever surpassed. I was driving with my wife rather fast 
down a hill, and we were passing the station cemetery, 
when some irresponsible idiot of a coolie working there 

w a huge cactus root he ha<l just dug up close to my 

y. 

rhe animal, naturally enough, stopped dead. The 

t moment I was flying through space, and turning 
complete somersault at least en routes landed on the 

211 



TIGER SLAYER BY ORDER 

hard ground. The pony fortunately stood still, and, 
except for a few bruises and torn clothing, I was none the 
worse for my flight. 

Curiously enough in this instance the person weighing 
lightest came off best ; for my wife, who is very light, 
remained in the trap, in fact, so little did she feel the jar, 
that she was quite at a loss to understand my sudden exit. 

The carelessness of syces is, as I have said, proverbial ; 
but though perhaps more pronounced in this particular 
class, is a failing common to most natives, and is often the 
cause of serious troubles, as in the case I quote below. 

A friend of mine, named G , who was at the time an 

Assistant Deputy Collector, happening to be out on tour in 
his district on the day of the King's Coronation, thought 
it only right to celebrate the occasion by having what is 
termed in India a Tamasha, i.e., a function. He therefore 
decided to get up some sports, etc., in the village where he 
was encamped, and as a grand finale — to give a Royal 
Salute with an ancient muzzle-loading cannon which, 
unfortunately — as it turned out — happened to be in the 
village, and had hitherto been regarded merely as a 
curiosity. 

There was some difficulty in procuring a sufficient 
quantity of gunpowder, also as to who should charge the 
piece, and fire it off, etc., but all was finally overcome by the 
chief borar^* who volunteered to see to all arrangements 
assisted by his son, and all for the modest sum of eight 
annas — or, in English money, about tenpence ! 

G accordingly issued invitations to all the local 

magnates, and about sunset, after the sports were over, 
an expectant crowd gathered round, awaiting the firing of 
the salute. 

All being reported ready, G , assuming a martial 

air, took off his hat and stood at attention, the crowd 
following his example, except in the matter of removing 
their head cover, which as most of the men wore pugris was 
not possible. 

The elder borar being still busily employed in ramming 
in the powder at the muzzle, had not noticed that his son, 
to whom he had entrusted the important duty of firing off 

* Merchant. 
212 



AN OVER ZEALOUS GUNNER 

the gun, was perilously near the touch hole, with the fuse 
in his hand. Presently the latter, quite oblivious of the 
fact that his parent was at that moment covering the 
muzzle of the weapon, applied the fuse, and as the old man 
had by this time unhappily succeeded in ramming the 
powder home, the charge exploded, ejecting the ranmier, 
which, with the old borar, were carried to some distance, 
whence the latter, dancing and shrieking in agony and terror, 
was carried off at once to the infirmary, where he died from 
his injuries. 

It was a sad ending to a function, which up to this un- 
lucky moment had gone off with great ^lat, and for the 
inauguration of which my friend would probably have 
gained credit, but instead, on reporting the disaster, which 
he was bound to do, he was, if not actually reprimanded, 
given to understand that his conduct had been foolish. 



918 



CHAPTER XXVIII 

A veteran police inspector — Some of his exploits — Tulia Naik — A famous 
dacoit leader — Small beginnings — First arrest — Escapes from his 
escort — Forms a gang — A terror to the neighbourhood — Baffles the 
police — Inspector on his track — The tables turned — Captures the 
inspector — A drinking bout — The inspector's opportunity — A clever 
re-arrest — Convicted — An apparent reformation — Return to crime 

— Final surrender — Transported for life — Sir F S r — A 

notable police officer — Rising of the Bhils — Babajee their leader — His 

arrest attempted — Refusal to surrender — Captain H of the poUce 

shot dead — Escape of the gang — Subsequent pursuit — Sir F S r 

in command — The gang marked down — Disguised as a native — Babajee 
found bathing — Captured in the water by Sir F S ^r — A re- 
markable achievement — Many of the gang secured — Importance of 
the capture — Comphment paid by the police — Relation between the 
miUtary and poUce — Commissioner of Pohce, Bombay — A lakh of 
rupees offered as a bribe — The offer indignantly refused — Strange 
action of the Government — Sir F S r and an American globe- 
trotter — His anxiety to see the man who had refused so large a bribe 
— Enquires if true ! — His astonishment when convinced — " Guess you 
Britishers will keep India ! " 

I HAVE in a previous chapter given an account of my 
experiences with a famous leader of dacoits whose exploits 
and arrest had given me so much trouble, that I had 
imagined at the time, that as a criminal career, his must 
have surpassed any ever heard of before. 

But I found I was mistaken, for while stationed at 
Poonah, I came across an old inspector of mine, Hafizullah, 
a splendid specimen of his class, being over six feet three 
inches and broad in proportion. During his long service 
in the force, he had had many strange experiences with 
criminals of every kind ; amongst them one, Tulia Naik, 
a notorious dacoit, whose arrest he had finally accom- 
plished and in a most sensational manner. 

It seems that this individual had started his criminal 
career in quite a mild sort of way, but wine and women 
214 



A RAKE'S PROGRESS 

being his peculiar weakness, he found that in order to satisfy 
tliese fancies, he must extend his sphere of action and 
tliieve on a larger scale. He accordingly took more seriously 
to the business, and gradually improving in efficiency, 
arrived in due time at the head of his profession. At the 
time of his arrest he had acquired the reputation of being 
one of the most dangerous criminals in the Province. 

In justice to him, however, it must be admitted that, 
apart from his own predilection, he had to some extent been 
forced to adopt a criminal career at an early period of his 
life and while as yet innocent of crime. 

It seems that at this early stage of his existence he had 
the luck to kill a large panther, and taking the skin to the 
local Government Treasury', had been awarded the usual 
award of Rs.l2. No sooner had the money been paid, 
however, than he was beset by the Treasury guard and 
others, all demanding a share. 

He complied with their demands — up to a certain point 
— but naturally wishing to keep something for himself, 
refused others who came later. Amongst them was a police 
constable, who, conscious of his powers to do so, swore to 
be revenged. Meanwhile Tulia went on, and gathering 
his friends together, gave them a feast with plenty of liquor, 
music, singing and dancing, in fact making a regular night 
(jf it. Then about midnight a message came from the police 
ordering the music to be stopped and the party to break up. 

Tulia, who had been drinking freely, and was conse- 
(jucntly somewhat pot valiant, paid no attention to this 
order, and when the police came to enforce it, he resisted 
them. He was accordingly arrested and taken off by two 
constables in the direction of a village where their chief 
constable was putting up. One of his escort being the very 
man he had refused to " tip," now gibed at him saying, 
" You would not give me a rupee I very well, wait — now 
you will be sent across the sea." ♦ The prisoner quite 
believing this — for like most natives he had exaggerated 
notions as to the powers of the law — determined to e8Ci^>e, 
and watching his opportunity succeeded in doing so bef(H« 
they reached the village. 

Being now an escaped offender, and therefore ao outlaw 
* MMning " tr»niport«d." 

215 



■ 



TIGER SLAYER BY ORDER 

so to speak, he made up his mind to adopt a criminal 
career, and soon forming a gang, took to raiding villages, 
where, by looting and threatening the big traders, amassed 
a considerable amount of loot — successfully evading all 
attempts made by the police to arrest him. This went 
on for some time until at length, under a promise, made by 
the Superintendent of Police, my friend Probyn, that he 
would not be arrested, he agreed to meet him at a place 
called Selbari, where he came on the day appointed. 
Throwing himself at Probyn's feet he said he was ready to 
give himself up at once if the sahib would only try him 
himself. This Probyn told him was impossible, but 
offered to go with him himself to the district magistrate and 
do his best to get him off with as light a sentence as possible. 

But to this Tulia would not agree. " No," he reiterated. 
" Let the sahib send for witnesses and try me himself, 
and if guilty, hang me on the tree we are sitting under — 
or send me to Dhulia jail. I am ready to be handcuffed now ! 
But I will not be tried by any other sahib ! " Being told 
again that what he suggested was impossible he said, " Very 
well, let me think the matter over till to-morrow." Then 
he asked to be allowed to go to see his people at Pimpulneer, 
and being granted a permit from Probyn, he went off. But 
on arriving there it appears that he went in for a drinking 
bout and becoming extremely drunk, walked into a cloth 
merchant's shop and turning the contents into the street, 
told his followers to scramble for them. Next morning 
he sent a message saying, " He had changed his mind and 
would not give himself up, but was returning to the jungle ! " 

It was now that Hafizullah came upon the scene, being 
deputed with a party of police to arrest this troublesome 
absconder, but they found it very difficult to hunt him down, 
for though he was occasionally seen, he always managed 
to elude them. He was even fired at but without an\' 
visible effect — thus giving currency to the belief that he 
wore some charm which made him bullet-proof ! 

At length one day, the inspector, happening to go alone 
to the house of a Patel or headman of a certain village, to 
make enquiries regarding some information he had re- 
ceived, Tulia turned the tables on him most effectually. 
Being in hiding near this village, he heard of the inspector's 
216 



TUllNING THE TABLES 

visit, and while the latter was inside, formulating a plan 
for his arrest, surrounded this house and captured him 
instead ! 

Having him now completely at his mercy, he told the 
inspector that he was going to kill him but that he must 
first provide his own funeral feast, and placing him in a 
cart guarded by himself and one or two followers with drawn 
swords, they proceeded to a liquor shop in the village of 
Pimpulneer. 

Here the inspector was forced to alight, and accompanied 
by his captors, who had now been joined by others of the 
gang, taken into the shop, where liquor being ordered, the 
party sat down to drink. They had been drinking for 
some time when Tulia, to have both hands free to take hold 
of the liquor jar, unthinkingly laid his sword aside. 

Now was the inspector's chance, and promptly and 
pluckily he took it. Leaping up suddenly, he sprang at Tulia, 
and seizing him with both hands by the hair, pressed his 
head to the ground and shouted loudly for help. 

Two or three constables, who on hearing the capture of 
their officer had come up, and were hovering about 
outside on the chance of being able to rescue him, now 
rushed to his assistance and soon secured the prisoner, for 
his friends so far from assisting him, had fled at the first 
alarm. He was eventually convicted and sentenced to 
seven years' imprisonment. 

Soon after the completion of his sentence, he was 
appointed as a watchman on a West Khandesh road, where 
lie did very well for a time, until a charge of rapr was 
brought against him, when he absconded again. 

He had been absconding for some months, all attempts 
to recapture him having failed, when one day as Probyn was 
driving along the Sclbari road, he suddenly came out from 
behind a babul tree and gave himself up ! He climbed 
quietly into the dogcart and was driven at once to the 
District Magistrate's camp, where he was tried again, and 
being committed to the sessions, was finally convicte<l and 
sentenced, this time to transportation for life. Thus ended 
the career of as remarkable a criminal as the Presidency 
had produced up to that time, about the year 1875. But 
though so noted a criminal he owed his notoriety rather 

217 



TIGER SLAYER BY ORDER 

to the boldness and originality of his methods, for the 
crimes he had committed were mostly robbing and offences 
against women, and, so far as I remember, he had never 
been accused or suspected of murder. 

****** 

Inspector Hafizullah's plucky capture of this celebrated 
criminal brings back to my mind a similar but much finer 

feat performed by that famous police officer. Sir F 

S r, when an Assistant-Superintendent of Police of the 

District of Nagar. The story of this notable achievement, 
which has been the admiration of all his brother officers 
for so many years, was told me by his son — then himself a 
Deputy Inspector-General of Police stationed at Ahmedabad. 

He was proceeding on leave at the time, and I had been 
appointed to relieve him. While engaged in taking over 
charge of the office, I was interrupted by a visit from the 
landlord of the bungalow, which I had also taken over. 
He was a very courteous native gentleman, and in the course 
of conversation informed me that the house had been 
occupied by my father, who thirty years ago had com- 
manded a brigade in Ahmedabad. 

I mentioned this later to S , and we then discovered 

that our respective fathers had been friends. It was then 
that he told me of some interesting episodes in the life of 

Sir F S r, amongst them the following remarkable 

exploit which I have already referred to. 

It appears that soon after the Indian Mutiny the Bhils 
in the Nagar and Khandesh districts started a rising of their 
own, giving considerable trouble and anxiety to the autho- 
rities by attacking and looting villages, etc., thus keeping 
the police and the military very busy in their efforts to 
quell these disturbances. 

Amongst the Naiks or leaders of these Bhils was one 
called Babaji, who, having collected a gang of dangerous 
bad characters round him, had become a terror to the 
neighbourhood he frequented and evaded all attempts of 
the police to capture him. However, after considerable 

trouble. Captain H , the Superintendent of Police in 

Nagar, managed to corner him by surrounding a hut in 
which he and his men were concealed. But notwithstand- 
ing his desperate position he refused to surrender when 
218 



A CLEVER CAPTURE 

called on to do so, replying to Captain H , " If you 

wish to take me prisoner, come yourself. I will not be 
taken by anyone except a sahib." 

Exasperated by the insolence of this challenge, which 
was probably the effect it was intended to have. Captain 

H entered boldly into the hut, when Babaji, who was 

armed with an ancient match-lock, fired and shot him 
dead — then, with the greater number of his followers, 
broke out of the hut and escaped. 

The direction of the operations now developed on Sir 

F S r, who was Captain II 's assistant at the 

time. The murder of his superior officer — so far from 
deterring him, made him all the more determined to arrest 
the murderer, and continuing the pursuit, he finally got on 
his tracks, eventually succeeding in arresting him in a most 
plucky and ingenious manner. 

Having marked him down at length in the valley, in 
the vicinity of which there was a large, deep pool of water, 
he discovered him one morning bathing in this pool. 

Surrounding the valley with his men, S , who had been 

disguised as a native throughout, approached the pool, 
and slipping quietly, swam close up to the bather, then, 
diving suddenly, seized the unsuspecting Babaji by the 
legs and dragged him under water. 

Being an exceptionally good swimmer and thoroughly 
at home in the water he had no difficulty in mastering his 
prisoner whom, half drowned and terrified out of his wits, 
he brought ashore safely, and, I presume, formally re- 
arrested 1 

Meanwhile the rest of the gang, seeing their leader 
captured, scattered at once, but the greater number were 
secured, and together with their chief, were sent in under 
a strong escort to Nagar, where the news of this great haul 
having already preceded them, the police received quite 
an ovation. 

As the party reached Nagar, tluy were met by the 
band of the regiment and played into the station, a com- 
pliment never knov^-n to have been accordetl to a party of 
police before, thus proving how important the cnnfurr of 
so notable a criminal as Babaji was considered. 

Quite apart from this, however, the action di me 

219 



TIGER SLAYER BY ORDER 

military authorities was particularly gratifying to Sir F 

S r, for, as it happened, there had been a certain amount 

of friction between the police and military which this 
gracious action quite removed. I was much interested 
to learn that the band referred to belonged to my father's 

regiment. Sir F — ■ — S r subsequently held the office 

of Commissioner of Police, Bombay, in which capacity he 
earned quite a world-wide reputation, and was much liked 
and respected by all classes, and amongst the large native 
commercial community was especially popular. 

It was during this period of his successful career, while 
employed in the investigation of a famous and sensational 
case of poisoning, that an incident occurred which showed 
the reputation he had acquired for finding out the truth 
and bringing offenders to justice. The case was a most 
important one, involving many persons of high rank. 
These, fearing he would discover their complicity in the 
crime, offered, through intermediaries, to pay him one 
lakh of rupees for merely giving up the direction of the 
enquiry which he was conducting personally ! 

Needless to say he refused the offer, and being naturally 
very much incensed at such a suggestion being made to 
him, promptly reported the matter to the Government. 
Yet strange as it may seem the reply he received was 
virtually a snub, some precocious young civilian in the 
Secretariat writing to the effect that " The time of the 
Government was too precious to be taken up with such 
twaddle ! " 

Soon after this, at Aden, while on his voyage home on 

leave, Sir F S r was much surprised at hearing that 

a fussy globe-trotting American was enquiring for him 
all over the ship. Wondering who this individual could be 
and why he wished to see him, his curiosity induced him to 
reveal himself. 

The stranger, looking at him curiously for a while then 
said, " He had heard a story about him which had struck 
him greatly, and that he would be glad to know if it was 
true and whether he was really the man who had refused 
a bribe, of a sum so enormous as a lakh of rupees, in the 
poisoning case ? " 

" Yes," replied Sir F S r quietly, " I am the 

220 



YOU BRITISHERS WILL KEEP INDIA" 

person you refer to." " Say then — shake,'* cried the Ameri- 
can excitedly, and extending a huge powerful paw seized 

Sir F S r's hand and nearly shook it off ! But when 

he heard what reply the latter had received from the 
Government to his report about the proffered bribe his face 
was a picture ! 

He then asked many questions about our administration 
of India, and after an animated conversation, finally took 
his departure, observing as he bid Sir F S r fare- 
well, " Wall, I guess you Britishers will keep India ! " 

It appeared that in the course of his globe-trotting he 
was visiting Aden, and seeing in the passenger list of the 

steamer the name of Sir F S r, whom he had very 

evidently heard of, he had come on board, for the express 
purpose of interviewing him. 



Ml 



CHAPTER XXIX 

Small-game shooting in India — The season for this sport — Snipe offers best 
sport — Arrival of these birds — Two varieties of true snipe — Other 
kinds, the jack and painted snipe — Migratory birds — Large bag can 
be made — Quail — Small charges and 20-bore preferable — ^River 
and bush quail — Partridge — Three kinds — Painted, grey, and black — 
The last best for table — Sand-grouse — Strong on the wing — Floriken 
finest game bird in India — PecuUar habit of the cock — Native explana- 
tion — Very plentiful in places — Indian bustard — A huge bird — Good 
sport for rook rifle — Peafowl and Indian plover — Ortalon, too small 
for sport — Snared by natives — Excellent eating — Wild-fowl — Many 
kinds — Found on tanks — Very numerous — The blue-winged teal — 
An excellent bird — Cotton and whistling teal — Not worth shooting — 
Widgeon and pochards — Swarm in thousands — Mallard — Similar to 
the EngUsh bird — The spotted bill and gadwaU — The pin-tailed duck — 
The red-crested pochard and white-eyed duck — The shoveller — Wild 
geese — Two varieties — The common or grey-bag, and the pink-footed 
goose — A curious hybrid bird, haK goose and half duck — Bittern, same 
as the English bird — Ground game — Hare only — No rabbits in India 
— Hare afford good coursing with Persian hounds. 

The hunting of dangerous animals having been my business, 
so to speak, for some years of my service in India, and my 
chief amusement always, I have probably devoted less 
time to small-game shooting than the majority of Indian 
sportsmen. Nevertheless, there were occasional long 
periods in my service, as when stationed in districts devoid 
of big game, where I was compelled to satisfy my sporting 
instincts with this less exciting form of sport ; hence, 
necessarily acquired some knowledge of this subject. 

In these circumstances it has occurred to me that 
having now said all I have to say on the subject of big- 
game shooting in the Bombay Presidency, I cannot do 
better than to give a brief description of the game birds 
of this part of India, together with some account of small- 
game shooting as carried out in India generally. 

The sport may be said to begin on or about the 15th 
222 



GAME-BIRDS OF INDIA SNIPE 

October, and to last till 15th March or thereabouts, the 
contents of the bag depending largely on the locality and 
season. 

Of the enormous variety of small game to be obtained 
in India the snipe, I think, takes first place, since it affords 
quite the prettiest sport of all Indian game birds. 

No sooner has the cold weather set in, about the 
beginning of November, than the snipe begin arriving ; 
on first alighting, after their long journey from the north, 
t hey are naturally in poor condition, but soon pick up and 
are then quite as rapid on the wing as English birds. 

There are two varieties of the true snipe — one rather 
smaller than the common snipe, with a pin tail, shorter 
bill, and beautifully marked bars on the end of the wing. 
They are supposed to come to India from the Straits of 
Singapore or China. 

There is also the Jack snipe which lie very close, often 
I ising within a yard or two of the sportsman's feet. Painted 
snipe arc also to be met with in the marshes — ^a large, clumsy 
looking bird, with an owl-like flight, and not worth shooting 
( ither from the sporting or pot point of view. 

Snipe, like quail and all migratory birds, are subject to 
good and bad seasons, being sometimes comparatively 
scarce. Forty or fifty couple are considered a fair bag, 
but in Sind one of two hundred will often be made by a 
good gun, and even this number, I am told, has frequently 
been doubled ! A friend of mine and myself once accounted 
for one hundred and fifty couple at a place called Larkana 
in the Sind district, but this kind of shooting being merely 
;i matter of sufTicient cartridges was not much to my taste. 

Christmas shooting camps are generally held in all the 
•iood, small-game shooting districts, and very fine sport is 
sually enjoyed ; especially by men living in large cities 
like Bombay. These camps are very enjoyable from a 
social point of view, but the wholesale slaughter of birds, 
which is the chief object of these meetings, did not appeal 
to me. I preferred to go out morning and evening when 
on tour, picking up a sufficient number of birds for the 
pot ; or when near enough to headquarters, to send in to 
friends to whom small game is always an agreeable change 
from the perpetual diet of fowl. 

288 



TIGER SLAYER BY ORDER 

Partridge, both grey and painted, grey and rain quail, 
sand grouse, florikin, bustard, hares, etc., are all fairly 
common in the Bombay Presidency ; and in Sind is also 
found the black partridge. With regard to the grey quail, 
a good morning's work should easily account for fifty 
brace or more to each gun, but these birds being migratory, 
much depends on the season. In some years, they actually 
swarm, and in others they prove comparatively scarce. 

The ordinary Indian quail is about the size of the English 
bird, the tips of the wings {primaries) being marked with 
dark bars. The hen birds have not the dark brown bands 
or collar on the throat which distinguish the cocks. 

Full charges of powder are not necessary for these 
birds, rising as they mostly do close to the gun, and of shot 
Nos. 8 or 9 are the most effective. I always loaded my 
own cartridges as being more economical than buying them 
ready loaded, and economy becomes a consideration when 
one hundred or more cartridges are used in a morning's 
shoot. 

I have invariably used a 20-bore, finding it lighter and 
handier than a 12-bore, for small-game shooting ; though, 
doubtless, it requires to be held somewhat straighter than a 
larger bore. 

Quail fly extremely swiftly, with a delightful whirring 
noise and an awkward twisting flight. Both quail and 
partridge can be shot to a dog, and I have often had good 
sport with a steady spaniel, but shooting with dogs in India 
is risky work, as they are sure to come to grief in time, either 
from sunstroke, snake bite or alligators. 

The little rain quail which usually comes in soon after 
the monsoon has burst, are smaller than the grey quail ; 
the cocks are prettily marked with black crests covered 
with small spots. 

The jungle bush quail, another variety, is not worth 
shooting. They are very common, and have a habit of 
hiding very close in thick bush or patch of grass, and on 
being approached, of suddenly whirring off in all directions, 
with startling effects to a novice, especially if he should 
happen to be following up a wounded tiger at the time ! 

The francolin, or painted partridge, is fairly common, 
and will often be put up singly, generally followed by its 
224 



PARTRIDGE, SAND-GROUSE, AND FLORIKEN 

niate. They are very handsome birds, and afford good 
shooting, rising something like the EngUsh partridge. 
They are mostly found in green corn-fields, large patches 
of high grass, or on the banks of nullahs or ravines. They 
are not particularly good eating. 

Grey partridge are very common, and not thought 
much of by Indian sportsmen, either from the sporting or 
table point of view. The flesh is tough and extremely 
tasteless ; in fact, hardly eatable unless the bird be stuffed 
with bacon, then roasted with layers of bacon wrapped round 
it. These birds are found in bushes and hedges round 
villages. The natives catch them in pits and often keep 
them as pets. 

We now come to the black partridge, found mostly in 
Sind. It is a large and very handsome bird with beautiful 
black plumage plentifully spotted with white on the breast. 
On rising it towers for a few yards, then flies straight forwards 
giving a fairly easy shot. 

These birds are generally to be found in patches of 
high grass near water, in cotton fields and beds of rivers 
where tlicre is thick cover. They hiive a shrill peculiar 
call, and arc verj' noisy, especially in the early mornings 
and about sundown. Their flesh is tender and excellent 
eating. 

Of sand-grouse, probably so called because they frequent 
open, sandy plains, there are three varieties, one very 
large and the other two with pin-tails. Tlie largest kind 
are rare, and mostly to be found in Sind. Sand-grouse 
squat or lie very close. They are very strong on the wing, 
and it requires hard hitting to bring them down. They are 
good eating, but tough, and should be skinned before 
being cooked. By watching over, or near water, where 
t hese birds come to drink, any number may be shot. 

Floriken, without doubt the finest game bird in India, 
rrive soon after the rains, and are found in nish-grown, 
hwampy places, and in high grass, also on plains where the 
grass has been burnt. The cock bird is about the size of 
a pheasant, and very handsome, with neck and under part 
of the body black ; while the back is mottled like a bustard. 
On the back of its head are six thin, upturned feathers, 
with small tufts at the end, somen^t reaembiing the crest 

Q 885 



TIGER SLAYER BY ORDER 

of a peacock. These birds rise very gracefully, towering 
to about fifteen yards before soaring away, and are very 
easy to shoot. The cock bird has a peculiar habit of 
jumping up high in the air, three or four times in rapid 
succession, and at intervals of six or seven yards. The 
natives declare this is done to attract the attention of the 
hen birds. The latter are of a light brown colour, prettily 
marked with dark brown bars. They have not the crest 
feathers of the cock bird. Another peculiarity of the 
floriken is the rose-pink tint at the roots of the short 
feathers, or down on the breast and under the wings ; but 
which can only be seen by parting this down with the 
fingers or by blowing it aside. 

I remember on one occasion, when suffering from a 
sprained ankle, shooting a number of these fine birds from 
my pony, a quiet steady beast, my men slowly beating 
the grass on either side as I rode quietly along. 

In parts of Khandesh and Guzerat, floriken are very 
plentiful, but their numbers depend much on the season. 
Their flesh is excellent, but as they feed entirely on beetles, 
grasshoppers and blister fly, it is sometimes tainted. On 
the whole, however, the floriken is considered the best bird 
for the table in India. 

The Indian greater bustard is also a splendid game bird, 
standing about three and a half feet high, and weighing 
nearly three stone. It has a flat black crest on the head, 
the neck is white, while the plumage on the back is a dark- 
mottled brown colour. The feathers of the Indian bustard 
are invaluable for salmon flies. 

The birds afford capital sport with a rook rifle. In 
Khandesh, where they are very common, I have shot five 
bustards in a morning with a Holland and Holland '250 
rifle, at an average distance of one hundred yards each. 
The flesh is of a brown colour. 

The only other land game birds are (1) the peafowl, 
which, being held in reverence by natives, are seldom shot ; 
(2) the golden plover, much like the English bird ; and 
lastly, the ortolan, which are too small to shoot, but are 
snared in hundreds by the natives, and sold in the market 
in many parts of India, and are excellent eating. 

We now come to wild-fowl of which there are many 
226 



m^' 



TEAL, MALLARD, AND WIDGEON 

kinds ; iirst, the teal, precisely like the English one, which 
b^n to arrive directly the monsoon is over, and are 
generally found on tanks, together with the duck (widgeon 
and pochards). The birds are often so numerous that the 
s|K)rtsman, creeping up cautiously to close range, may 
bring down a dozen or more with both barrels, for they 
rise and fly so closely packed together. They are well 
worth shooting, too, being excellent eating. 

Another very good eating bird is the blue- winged, or 
gangamy teal, which arrive in vast flocks later on in the 
cold season. The cotton and whistling teal are also found 
in large numbers on the vast sheets of water which do not 
dry up in the hot season ; but they are not worth powder 
and shot, their flesh being both fishy and muddy. 

As the season advances, widgeon and pochards swarm 
in their thousands on the larger lakes, especially in Sind, 
and the sportsman may fire away as many cartridges as 
he can make, or has the means to purchase, should he be 
so extravagantly inclined. 

Our excellent English mallard, or a bird absolutely 
similar in every respect, will form the major portion of the 
bag ; and next, the spotted-bill duck and the gadwall — 
smaller duck than the mallard, with mottled-brown back, 
* liestnut patch on the wings, and white belly. Then the 
pin-tail duck, a beautiful bird with its very peculiar long, 
pointed tail, brown head, prettily blue-mottled back, 
white breast, and blackish slate-brown legs and feet. It 
larger than the mallard, flies at great speed, and is very 
'j,i)od eating. 

Widgeon are somewhat rare. They are much smaller 
than the mallard, and when flying make a shrill whistling 
•^ound. The head and upper part of the neck of this 
rd are of a chestnut-red with a pale-yellow band over the 
crown. The bill is of a bright-bluish colour, breast light- 
pink, back mottled-gray, and tail blackish-grcy-bluc lead 
colour. 

The red-crested pochard has a m<^ unmistakable red 
head, surmounted with a yellow crest or band ; Iwick and 
wings brown, with white patches at both ends of wings; 
while the lower part of neck, breast and belly arc black, 
and the tail, legs and feet bright red ; a most brilliant little 

3»7 



TIGER SLAYER BY ORDER 

specimen of the duck tribe. The hen bird, however, is 
more soberly arrayed. 

There is, besides, the white-eyed duck, and another still 
smaller pochard, the tufted duck, a beautiful dark bird 
with a large silky crest of black feathers, a white bar on the 
wings, white stomach and legs, and bill of a lead colour. 
There is a beautiful glossy green and purple sheen over the 
plumage of this bird. 

Lastly, comes the shoveller, a larger bird than the above, 
though not so large as the mallard. It can be easily 
identified by its large, broad bill of a dark-slate colour. 
These birds are common, but are not good eating. 

There are two varieties of the wild goose, both of which 
are to be found in Sind. One is the common wild or grey 
wing goose of England ; the other the pink-footed goose, a 
smaller bird than the first. As with all wild geese, they are 
very difficult to approach, having a habit of lying concealed, 
huddled up together in batches of sixty or more in clusters 
of reeds or rushes, and always a long distance from the 
banks of the lakes or other waters in which they have taken 
up their temporary abode. They fly in long lines when 
travelling, and it is a very pleasing sound, heralding as it 
does the approach of the cold season, to hear their harsh 
grating call as they pass, flying high, over the camp or 
bungalow in the early hours of the morning, on their way 
to their winter quarters. 

But welcome as is the arrival of these great birds to 
the sportsman, their advent is by no means so agreeable to 
the Indian agriculturist, for they do a deal of damage to 
their crops, chiefly grain, a sort of vetch to which they are 
particularly partial. 

There is another curious bright -russet winged, white- 
breasted bird, a kind of cross between a goose and a duck, 
which seems indigenous to India. It is called, for some 
unknown reason, Brahminy duck in Bengal. These seem- 
ingly hybrid creatures are always seen in couples, and 
seldom met with except on rivers. Though game-like in 
appearance, they are never shot by sportsmen as their flesh 
is uneatable. Bittern are often put up out of long thick 
rushes on the edges of tanks and nullahs. They are pre- 
cisely the same as the English bird and fairly good eating. 
228 






THE INDIAN HARE 

The only small ground game are hares, for there are no 
rabbits in India. The Indian hare is much smaller than 
the English beast. They are to be met with almost ever>'- 
where in open rocky ground or scrub. On being started 
they bolt much the same as rabbits, and require quick 
snap-shooting. Like the Indian fox — a pretty little silver- 
white creature with black tips to their brush — they afford 
excellent coursing with Persian greyhounds. 



M9 



CHAPTER XXX 

Remnants of Babajee gang — Joined by the Barwattis — A formidable coali- 
tion — Rounding them up — Another European officer shot dead — The 
gang finally destroyed — More about tigers — A tigress and three cubs — 
Monkeys announce their presence — I shoot the tigress — Driving out the 
cubs — Two rolled over— Beaters dispose of third — Wounded tigers 
often lost — Cases in point — (1) A tiger on an island — The beat begun 
— A momentary glimpse — Snap-shooting — Crashing through the jungle 
— Mysterious disappearance — " Here he is ! " — Found dead under 
water ! — A mangy specimen — A remarkable dying effort — (2) Another 
instance — Three tigers put up — Two soon disposed of — In pursuit of 
the third — Marked down — A snap-shot again — Concluded he was 
missed — Further search abandoned — Found dead the next day ! — 
Man-eating tigers — Happily now rare — Indenting on ancient history — 
Alarming news at 5 a.m. — Camp in transit — Attacked by man-eater 
— Disobedience of orders — A bullock driver carried off — Panic- 
stricken servants — Pursuit taken up — The body found half eaten — 
Man-eating tigers on high road — The traffic held up — Seven hundred 
human victims ! — ^Mail cart attacked — Tiger jumps from a hillock 
— Horse badly scarred — ShoA\-n to travellers as a curiosity. 

The members of Babaji's gang, who had escaped when 
their leader was arrested, though scattered for the time, 
soon came together again ; and being joined by remnants 
of other broken-up gangs, and subsequently by some 
Barwattis,* became a formidable coalition, and for many 
years gave considerable trouble to the police. 

Many of the members being practically outlaws already 
were desperate men, to whom a crime more or less mattered 
little, for in any case, if arrested, they knew their punish- 
ment was certain ; hence, on the principle of " as well be 
hung for a sheep as a lamb," they continued to pursue 
their criminal courses. 

The police, assisted by the military, had been indefati- 
gable in their pursuit of the gang, but were greatly handi- 
capped by the conduct of the villagers, who were in such 

* A criminal tribe peculiar to Goozerat. 
230 



ATTACK ON A DACOIT STRONGHOLD 

deadly terror of these men that they would give no informa- 
tion of their movements ; and once or twice, when located 
by the police, even connived at their escape ! 

Finally, when all other measures had failed, the authori- 
ties decided to employ mounted men, and on the recom- 
mendation of Colonel H , the then Inspector-General 

of Police, G , a promising young officer of the 

2nd Bombay Lancers, was drafted into the police and 
stationed on special duty at Kathiawar, as a suitable centre 
from which to conduct the operations. 

He had not been there long when one morning he 
received information that the dacoits were in a village 
about sixteen miles distant. He rode off at once, accom- 
panied by his sowars, and on arrival found the gang 
entrenched, or rather, concealed in a pit which they had 
dug. 

This method of defensive warfare had doubtless been 
adopted at the suggestion of the Barwattis, for the par- 
ticular tribe of these people, who were now members of the 
gang, are in the habit of entrenching themselves in pits, 
which they fortify, erecting a st.uulard in the centre under 
which they fight. 

In these circumstances it would perhaps have been 
wiser, as the military critics subsequently observed, to 
have attacked the entrenchments on foot, and in skirmishing 

( )rder ; but G , being young, and full of military ardour, 

probably thinking also that his men would feel more at 
liome mounted than on foot, charged the stronghold at 
once. 

The dacoits, most of whom had fire-arms of sorts, 
reserved their fire till the attacking party were within a 

few yards of their trench and then fired a volley. G , 

who was leading the charge, was struck by seven bullets 
and fell dead ; but his Resildar,* assuming command at 
lice, led the men on, and a terrible revenge they took, 
lor in the hand-to-hand encounter that ensued the greater 
immber of their opponents were killed outright or cut 
down. 

G had been so great a favourite with all claases 

t )mt all the Europeans, and many natives of Kathiawar, 
* N*tive oavalcy ofBoer. 

281 



■ 



TIGER SLAYER BY ORDER 

subscribing to a fund, erected a monument to his memory 

at Rajkote, which was unveiled by Lord H , the then 

Governor of Bombay, who in a few well-chosen words paid 
a tribute to the gallantry and devotion to duty he had 
displayed. 

Shortly after his transfer to the police, he had spent 
some days with me in my camp near the Chap-Panee 
ravine, and I well remember his delight at having been 
selected for the task of hunting down these dacoits. This 
ravine is — or used to be — a favourite haunt of tigers, and 
I had seldom, if ever, drawn a blank there. 

On the particular occasion I refer to, it did not belie 
its reputation, for we had not been long there when we 
received information of a tigress and three cubs. 

Having arrived at the jungle and taken up our position, 
we sent word to the beaters to advance. Presently I 
heard a troop of monkeys chattering loudly, as these 
animals always do when a tiger or panther is on foot, and 
at the same instant I saw the tigress emerge slowly from a 
mass of cypress and come quietly towards me. 

I allowed her to approach within ten yards or so of my 
position, then fired, and the bullet striking her fairly 
between the eyes killed her on the spot. Meanwhile the 
beaters were advancing, driving the cubs before them ; 
small beasts they proved to be, each about three feet long. 

G , who was to my right, now had his chance, and very 

good use he made of it, rolling two of them over in fine 
style ; the third broke back, but was soon despatched by 
the beaters. Their mother, whom I had shot, proved to 
be a large handsome beast with a fine dark-coloured skin. 
I had this pegged out alongside the one of a large tiger I 
had bagged some days before, the two making a goodly 
show. 

Altogether this shoot was a great success in that we 
had accounted for every animal put up, and although three 
were only little ones, still, in tiger shooting it is not always 
that every tiger seen is bagged, more especially when 
hunting these animals on foot, for unless badly wounded, 
they often get away. 

But sometimes, even if fatally wounded, a tiger may 
sneak off unobserved to die in some dense Jungle, or 
232 



^^aiiif' ■JULA^^frr^r':. ^^ 



I 




TIGER SHOOTING IN SEONEE 

perhaps an unknoxvn cave ; and is then lost to the sports- 
man, as nearly happened once to my father-in-law. Colonel 

VV , of the Indian Survey Department, and his chief. 

Major O s, who, but for an accidental discovery of the 

carcase, would have lost a tiger they had shot. 

They were out shooting in Seonee, a district once so 
noted for its tigers, and as being the scene of the adventures 
described in R. C. Sterndalc's famous book. Information 
was brought to them one May morning by the villagers of a 
tiger having been marked down in some jungle on a small 
island, in the bed of the Weingunga River, where he was 
said to be lying up. 

They had only one elephant out with them, but as he 

was an exceptionally staunch animal. Major O s 

ordered the howdah to be put on him, and accompanied by 
my father-in-law, who was only a subaltern at the time, 
and quite inexperienced in sport, they proceeded to the 
jungle. 

On arriving there, O s, an old shikari, and thoroughly 

acquainted with tigers and their ways, examining the place 
carefully, found the island, which was surrounded by water 
on one side and dry shingle on the other, was a mass of 
jhamin, or wild damson bushes, affording excellent cover 
for the tiger. The villagers declaring he was still there, 

O s stationed the elephant at the head of the island 

and ordered the men, who had agreed to act as beaters, 
to beat right through it from the other end. Soon a 
tremendous din arose, as the men advanced, all shouting 
loudly, and suddenly the tiger appeared at the edge of the 
island, but seeing the elephant, as quickly drew back into 
the bushes, though not before O— - — s had time to raise 
his rifle and fire a snap-shot at him. 

The report of the rifle was answered immediately by a 
loud, angry roar from the tiger, as if protesting against his 
privacy being disturbed, then came the sound of some heavy 
animal crashing through the bushes, followed by a tre- 
mendous splash as if it had plunged into the water. 

Tlic two sportsmen, fully under the impression that the 
tiger had got away untouched, now descended from the 
liowdah and following his tracks through the jungle, were 
agreeably surprised to find some blood on the shingle, and 

288 



■ 



TIGER SLAYER BY ORDER 

walking on further, came upon his footprints on the spot 
from which he had evidently jumped into the water. 

The villagers, entering this water, which on an average 
was about five feet deep, waded across, but could find no 
footprints on the opposite side, and were still searching, 
when suddenly one of the men, who had not as yet come 
out of the water, called out excitedly, " Here he is, here 
he is ! " 

This sudden and decidedly disquieting announcement 
might well have caused a panic, but for the fact that the 
man who had made it, was now seen peering into the water, 
and prodding with his spear at something underneath it. 
He now explained that when he was crossing over he had 
been testing the depth of the water, when he felt something 
soft, and investigating further, concluded it was the carcase 
of the tiger ! The others now assisting him, they soon 
dragged the body to the bank, and sure enough it proved 
to be that of the tiger, which with its last dying effort 
had evidently plunged into the water, intending doubtless 
to swim across, but being too badly wounded, had probably 
been unable to rise to the surface, and was drowned or 
had died while in the act of swimming across. 

The animal proved to be a small and very mangy 
tigress, but must have been possessed of extraordinary 
vitality, for on examining the carcase later it was found 
that the bullet (an explosive 12-bore) had struck her far 
back in the stomach, and exploding inside had burst the 
diaphragm and made mincemeat of the liver, and yet 
she had sufficient energy left, not only to travel seventy 
measured paces, but to jump into the water from the bank ! 

On another occasion in the same district, Colonel W , 

while out with D , the Forest Officer, again nearly lost a 

tiger which they had shot. They had received information 
of three tigers, said to be in some jungle on the banks of 

the Weingunga. D having a good number of elephants 

with him at the time, they went out at once. 

By three o'clock in the afternoon they had bagged two 
out of the three, then went after the third, and having 
marked him down, posted a pad elephant on the other side 
of the river as a stop. 

The tiger, driven out by the beaters, made for the river, 
234 



AN UNEXPECTED FIND 

intending to swim across and escape ; but seeing the 
elephant, was re-entering the jungle, when both the 
sportsmen fired at him. 

As the tiger had not spoken to either of the shots they 
could not tell whether he was hit or not, but as he eventually 
got away without being fired at again, they concluded he 
had been missed ; and as it was now getting late, and they 
were a long way from home, they padded the two tigers 
they had shot and returned to camp. 

Next day, however, a large party of villagers came into 
the station carrying a dead tiger slung on to a pole, which 
they took to the Magistrate's ofifice, where they claimed, 
and were paid, the Government reward of Rs.50. They 
made no claim to having shot the animal themselves, 
but said they had found it lying dead under a tree ; near 
the jungle where the Sahibs had shot the two the day 
before. However, they were allowed to retain the reward, 
which, added to the Bakshish they had already received 
for giving information, was, to men in their position, quite 
a fortune. 

The two cases I have quoted prove how easily a tiger, 
even when mortally wounded, may be lost ; and there 
have been doubtless many others of the kind, as well as of 
tigers, seemingly only slightly wounded, who have got 
off and have died eventually in some jungle miles away 
from where they were originally put up. 

Of man-eating tigers, too, Colonel W has some 

experiences to relate, two of which I venture to repeat, for 
as these once dreaded beasts are now happily less numerous 
one must generally indent on ancient history to obtain 
accounts of their exploits. 

In the first case he tells of, the narrator was encamped 
in the civil station of Sconce, many years ago, and was 
roused at five o'clock one morning by his servants with the 
thrilling information that a man-eater had just attacked 
the Forest Officer's servants who were bringing their 
master's camp into the station. 

The latter it appeared had warned his men not to start 
on their journey till after daybreak, as the man-eating 
tiger was known to be prowling about on that road ; but 

885 



TIGER SLAYER BY ORDER 

neglecting his warning, they had started at 2 a.m., trusting 
doubtless to fate after the manner of their kind. 

Conveying part of the camp equipage were some pack- 
bullocks, accompanied by the driver, who was walking 
behind them, when suddenly the tiger pouncing on him 
carried him off into a dense jungle near the road where he 
had been probably lying in wait. 

The servants, panic-stricken, made no attempt to 
rescue the man, but, leaving him to his fate, had come 
running into the station with the news. 

Colonel W , together with the Superintendent of 

Police and the Civil Surgeon, rode out at once to the spot, 
which was some five miles distant. 

Here they soon found the broad track left by the tiger 
as he had dragged his victim through the jungle, and 
following along this for some considerable distance, they 
came upon the remains of the latter lying in the densest 
portion of the jungle. 

The tiger, like most man-eaters, was evidently a very 
cunning beast, and had no intention of running any risks 
by returning to finish his kill ; for he had already eaten 
most of it, the upper portion of the body being all that was 
left of the unfortunate man, but this was intact, except 
for a wound in the neck where the beast had seized 
him. 

It was hopeless to look for the tiger without elephants, 
the jungle being too extensive and dense. He was shot 
eventually, but not till a year or more had passed, during 
which time he had added many other human victims to his 
list. 

The second case referred to, relates to events in the later 
sixties, when man-eaters were quite common in, and in 
districts adjacent to, Seonee, and more especially on the 
high road from Jubbulpur to Nagpur, a distance of one 
hundred and sixty-eight miles and passing through the 
Civil Station of Seonee, which lies about half way. 

On practically the whole length of this road, but 
particularly at a long pass or crossing of three miles, 
called the Korai Ghat, a party of what I may call pro- 
fessional man-eating tigers, had taken up their quarters, 
who, lying in wait in small hillocks above the road, would 
236 



A MAN-EATER'S SEVEN HUNDRED VICTIMS 

pounce suddenly on drivers of bullock carts and carry 
them off into the jungle below. 

During the three years that Colonel VV was stationed 

at Seonee, this Ghat was often held up for so long as three 
months at a time by these man-eaters, one of whom was 
credited with having killed and eaten seven hundred human 
victims before he was eventually destroyed. 

On one occasion the mail cart, carrying the English 
mail, a specially well-organized service with a booked speed 
of fourteen miles an hour, was proceeding at this pace a 
few miles from Seonee, when it was attacked by a man- 
eater, which suddenly jumped on to it from a hillock where 
he had, as usual, been lying concealed. 

Probably his intention was to carry off either the driver 
or the syce, but as it happened, he lighted on the horses, 
one of whom he clawed all down the quarters. The beast 
eventually recovered, but was badly scarred, and for many 
years after the driver used to point him out to travellers, 
with great pride, as the horse which had sur\'^ived a man- 
eater's attack ! 



887 



CONCLUSION 

The last chapter brings my narrative to a close. Except 
to the keen sportsman anxious to learn something of small- 
game shooting in India, Chapter XXIX. will, I fear, make 
dull reading ; but in the pursuit of prey so harmless, 
startling adventures can hardly be expected. The previous 
chapters, however, will, I trust, prove more generally 
entertaining. 

In my account of adventures with tigers and other 
dangerous game, I have, as I proposed when setting out 
to write my story, confined myself to recording those only 
which seemed to me to possess some special interest, for 
bare tales of animals slaughtered are apt to become weari- 
some if too often told. 

I have endeavoured, therefore, to make each incident 
recorded as interesting as possible, consistent with truth 
and, when opportunity offered, have given facts and 
figures derived from personal observation and experience 
regarding the various animals I have encountered, together 
with their description, hoping that this information may 
be useful to sportsmen contemplating a shooting trip to 
India. 

At the same time it must be borne in mind that I am 
writing of sport in that country as it was some twenty-five 
or thirty years ago ! With the progress of civilization and 
clearing of the forests, game — more especially tigers — has 
decreased. Big-game shooting is not so easily obtainable, 
nor is it to be had at such comparatively little cost. 

However, with an exercise of patience, tact and judg- 
ment, as well as a judicious cultivation of the natives, much 
may yet be accomplished. But above all it is advisable 
to obtain introductions to the civil authorities of the 
district, or district selected, especially the Police and Forest 
238 



A TRIBUTE TO COLONEL PROBYN 

Officers who have the means — personally or through their 
subordinates — of smoothing many difficulties, or of creating 
them! The goodwill of these officers is. tlicrcforc. very 
desirable to acquire. 

I regret now that I did not keep an exact record oi the 
number of tigers I have slain. As Tiger Slayer to the 
Bombay Government, however, I had to submit a weekly 
return of tigers killed, and during my term of office the 
figures, so far as I remember, reached about two hundred. 
These did not include the number I killed before being 
appointed to that office, or during any period of leave. 
I may safely say, therefore, that the number of tigers I 
have shot cannot be much under three hundred in all. 

My biggest bag for one year in Khandesh was thirty-one, 
and for one week, six. At one time, indeed, I remember 
being almost tired of shooting tigers, they were so plentiful, 
and in so many cases shot without any greater effort on 
my part than holding the rifle straight. 

The largest bag of tigers on record for one day, so far 
as I know, was in a beat in which Lord Harris was present, 
the one that fell to his rifle being a very large, heavy beast 
with an enormous head, the largest, I believe, that 
Rowland Ward has ever set up. 

I always shot on foot or, when more convenient or 
advisable to do so, from a tree or macharo ; but even in 
these cases, it was often necessary to follow the wounded 
beast on foot, instances of which have been given in 
previous chapters. 

Many of my earlier adventures with big game were 
experienced in company with my old ti'iend and mentor, 
the late Colonel Probyn, under whose kindly and able 
guidance I embarked on my sporting career, and to whom 
I attribute much of my subsequent success ; for taking him 
as my model, I wisely decided to follow in his footsteps, 
a resolution I happily adhered to. 

Oliver Probyn is still a name to conjure with in Khan- 
desh. In addition to being a thorough sportsman, he was 
the beau ideal of a soldier and a gentleman. His influence 
among the Bhils was so great that his word was law, and 
yet he was loved as much as he was feared. 

His appearance, though somewhat rough — the result, 

389 



TIGER SLAYER BY ORDER 

probably, of his having passed so much of his life amongst 
wild tribes — was nevertheless distinguished and com- 
manding. Altogether he impressed me more than any 
man I had ever met. 

The above is my recollection of him some thirty years 
ago, and since it was under his tuition that I started on the 
adventures which have furnished me with material for 
my narrative, it is but fitting I should end it with this 
tribute to his memory. 



THE END 



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